Dragons bring Rhys Buckley back home
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have bolstered their front row by bringing hooker Rhys Buckley back home.
The 24-year-old from Caldicot has penned a one-year deal to return to Rodney Parade from English Championship outfit Moseley next season.
He will replace Ospreys-bound hooker Sam Parry and will battle for starts with former Wales international Rhys Thomas, Under-20s prospect Elliot Dee and Hugh Gustafson.
The former electrical engineer had a solitary season with the Dragons in 2011/12 after earning a shot thanks to a number of tenacious performances for Pontypool in the Premiership.
Buckley did well as Tom Willis' back-up while Lloyd Burns was on Wales World Cup duty but endured a frustrating second half to the season.
He made 16 appearances, 11 of them off the bench, but did not feature after February.
A fresh contract offer was not forthcoming and after talks with Cardiff Blues came to nothing he headed up north to Doncaster.
His intention was to develop in the physical Championship and earn another chance in the big time.
"My long-term aim is to get picked up by an Aviva Premiership side or another Welsh region so this is a great opportunity for me," he said at the time. "I will be in the shop window."
The Knights were relegated but he earned another full-time deal with Moseley and his plan of winning another opportunity has paid off with a Rodney Parade return.
Buckley is the fourth signing for next season after Leicester loosehead prop Boris Stankovich, Biarritz wing Aled Brew and Clermont Auvergne full-back Lee Byrne agreed Dragons deals.