NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have moved to bolster their back row with the signing of openside Nic Cudd.

The 23-year-old arrives from Llanelli and is a replacement for Darren Waters, who will be out until at least February after rupturing knee ligaments in the pre-season friendly win against London Irish.

The Dragons will confirm the deal tomorrow but the signing of Cudd, who made seven Scarlets appearances after coming through their academy, does not have any impact on their search for an overseas star to bolster the back five of their pack.

The region hope to have another new arrival before they lose Toby Faletau and Dan Lydiate to Wales duty in November but the signing of an out-and-out seven will be a relief.

Jevon Groves, usually a blindside flanker or lock, filled in at openside against Zebre and Leinster and proved to be a great success.

He won five of the Dragons' 10 turnovers against the Italians but will drop to the bench for Saturday's derby against Cardiff Blues now that captain Lewis Evans is fit again following a calf problem.