NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have signed former England Under-20s tighthead Shaun Knight from Gloucester on a one-year deal.

The 25-year-old arrives at Rodney Parade as a replacement for Dan Way, who has been forced to retire because of a shoulder injury, and will battle for starts with Brok Harris and Lloyd Fairbrother.

Knight, Gloucester born and bred, is an uncompromising prop who has played 78 times for the Cherry and Whites and represented England in the 2009 and 2010 Junior World Championships.

He made 14 appearances last season as back-up to influential All Black John Afoa and had a spell at Moseley in the English Championship before returning for the final stages of the campaign, his last game for his hometown club coming in the agonising last-minute Champions Cup play-off loss to Bordeaux-Begles.

Knight, who is also understood to have been on Wasps' radar, is relishing a fresh challenge.

"I am really happy to have signed a contract with Newport Gwent Dragons," he said.

"I start pre-season training with the squad tomorrow and am excited to know where this new challenge in my career will take me.

"The opportunity for me to move from Gloucester was there and after meeting with Kingsley (Jones, head coach) and Lyn (Jones, director of rugby), I felt that it was the right time to do so.

"I know a couple of the front rowers they have at the region and I am looking forward to learning off the experienced props like Boris (Stankovich) and Brok (Harris)."

Lyn Jones believes that the Dragons can reap the benefits of Knight attempting to prove his quality after seeing the Cherry and Whites sign up England tighthead Paul Doran-Jones and Ospreys youngster Nicky Thomas to go along with Afoa and Tonga's Sila Puafisi.

"We look forward to working with Shaun - he has been a regular at Gloucester for a number of seasons but has fallen out of favour," said the director of rugby. "It's a fresh start for him and a chance to prove himself with us."

Knight is set to initially battle with Welsh-qualified Fairbrother for the right to be back-up to South African Harris while the trio will be backed up by Wales Under-20s tightheads Alex Jeffries and Leon Brown.