BOSS Dean Ryan believes the Dragons have made a shrewd investment after bolstering their academy coaching set-up.

The Rodney Parade region have added to their management team in a bid to help the next generation of talent push for senior rugby.

As was reported in the Argus in September, former Dragons coaches Dai Rees and Shaun Connor have returned to the club.

Rees worked under Paul Turner until leaving for Hong Kong in 2008 and is back as head of the academy.

“Rees will be responsible for establishing the academy’s culture in line with those of the senior side and, alongside his fellow coaches, has a strong desire and passion to keep Dragons at the forefront of developing young talent,” read a statement.

Former Dragons fly-half and backs coach Connor returns after most recently being with the Russian national team.

Former Scarlets number eight Jack Condy, who earned a pro deal by shining at Penallta and Cross Keys, has also linked up with the region.

They will help the existing coaching duo of Matt O’Brien and Sam Hobbs to help in the final stages of academy talent progressing from age-grade rugby to the professional ranks.

Lewis Roberts, who until recently was with Ebbw Vale, has been appointed as pathway manager to plot the route through the age-grades.

Radu Basalau and Ellis Brindley have joined the strength and conditioning department while the set-up is completed by sports therapist Nia Morgans and performance analyst Ryan Humphreys-Thomas.

Director of rugby Ryan said: “It’s important that we invest in our future and continue to develop our Academy as we strive to develop the best talent for our region.

“The continued growth of the region will be underpinned by prospering youngsters coming through our academy system.”