DEAN Ryan was delighted by the foundations laid by his Dragons new boys in the tight five against the Ospreys – and accused the Welsh Rugby Union of ‘building walls’ when they were trying to sign props Aki Seiuli and Mesake Doge.

The Rodney Parade side started the United Rugby Championship with a 27-23 defeat to their regional rivals in Newport.

The Dragons gave starts to loosehead Seiuli, tighthead Doge and lock Will Rowlands plus scrum-half Lewis Jones and wing Jordan Olowofela, who are on loan from Cardiff and Leicester respectively.

Director of rugby Ryan was encouraged by the performances of his latest recruits, especially the forwards in the tight against an Ospreys tight five featuring four Wales internationals.

South Wales Argus: Dragons boss Dean RyanDragons boss Dean Ryan

“I was really pleased. We have got our challenges resources-wise and I am really happy with what we have been able to achieve with those limitations, I really am,” said the boss.

“We are constantly challenged with our finances, which restricts our depth and quality. The group that went out against the Ospreys were fantastic. The five that came in, I thought they were fantastic.”

The signing of Rowlands was a long time in the making but the Dragons had to move late to sign uncapped Samoa squad member Seiuli, who was released by Glasgow at the end of last season, and Fiji international Doge, who left Brive.

The signings were needed after the departure of stalwart Brok Harris and injury to Lloyd Fairbrother, who might not play in 2021/22 because of ruptured Achilles.

However, Ryan was frustrated by the process of bringing in his overseas props and stated that the WRU, who still own the Dragons, had to sign off the deals.

South Wales Argus: Dragons tighthead Mesake DogeDragons tighthead Mesake Doge

“We were having to ask permission in May to get people in and we got no answer, so to get both Mes and Aki was a fantastic piece of work,” he said.

“I couldn’t believe how many walls were built to make that difficult. Those are the hurdles sometimes that we are facing in a market where normally you are already late in January. The guys we got, we are delighted with and they did a good job.

“We need to be sanctioned by a mystery person in the WRU about the quality of the people that are non-Welsh, and we never got an answer. I still don’t know who that person is.

“We never got an answer in a recruitment market that shifts daily, and we were already in April and May.”

The deals were given the green light and now the Dragons have four players in their squad who are not eligible for Wales – Seiuli, Doge, Olowofela and Gonzalo Bertranou, who is currently on Test duty with Argentina.

Meanwhile, Rowlands showed why Ryan made him his number one target with some powerful contributions on debut.

“Will is some player and adds a lot,” said the boss about the former Wasps forward, who resumed his Wales partnership with Ben Carter.

“We’ve always known that are back row [are talented] but now we can say our back five of the pack will cause lots of problems.

“We have got a lot of runners that we can bring to the line and that is something that we need to keep working on.”