THE Dragons have lined up Irish fly-half JJ Hanrahan to put the heat on Sam Davies.

The Rodney Parade region are looking to tap into the exiles market with moves for Bath centre Max Clark, Exeter lock Sean Lonsdale, who are both Welsh-qualified, and Ulster hooker Bradley Roberts, who won his first cap last summer.

Now they have lined up Hanrahan with the Irish Independent reporting that he is set to sign a three-year deal with the Dragons after former Rodney Parade boss Bernard Jackman mentioned it on The 42 Rugby Weekly podcast.

“It’s not confirmed but that’s the talk in France,” said Jackman. “Sam Davies is very good but he probably doesn’t have any competition.

“To have two top-end 10s… when you are a team that doesn’t have the resources, you need to have your half-backs.

“They’ve got Rhodri Williams, Tavis Knoyle and an Argentina international [Gonzalo Bertranou] at 9 and then Sam and JJ if it happens.”

Director of rugby Dean Ryan is keen to provide more competition for the 10 jersey for Sam Davies, who moved east from the Ospreys in 2019.

Hanrahan certainly fits the bill with the 29-year-old former Munster fly-half currently with Clermont Auvergne.

Davies' current rival at 10 is Josh Lewis but he has largely featured at full-back this season, a position that former Wales back Tom Shanklin said suits him better.

"I think he is probably better at 15 than he is 10, it takes a little bit of pressure off him about controlling games," said the Premier Sports pundit in September.

They are backed up by the young duo of Will Reed, who has been in stunning form for Newport in the Premiership, and Evan Lloyd.

The Dragons are yet to have their budget confirmed for next season but are working off a ball-park figure.

To that end, they are looking to bring in some seasoned campaigners to assist in the development of their bright prospects that have come through the academy.

South Wales Argus: TARGET: The Dragons are looking at Exeter's former RGC forward Sean LonsdaleTARGET: The Dragons are looking at Exeter's former RGC forward Sean Lonsdale

The Dragons have lined up Clark, Lonsdale and Roberts with the belief they can help with their Test aspirations.

“Let's be clear, the Dragons are always looking to strengthen but it's strengthening around our principles,” said the director of rugby.

“We've always got challenges in terms of resources and this year is the same as any. There is still significant debate around what those resources will end up being and that is another challenge into what is already a difficult area for us.

“We are working hard to keep building this squad and keep improving it around backing our youngsters.

“That gives us what is sometimes a unique selling point. We are high on opportunities here, we have been able to show that people can come in here and impress to catch the eye of the national coaches. That is something that we talk about regularly.

"Our market is people who are looking for opportunities and to improve."