BERNARD Jackman is hopeful of convincing Wales and Lions ace Ross Moriarty to be a stellar signing for the Dragons.

The 23-year-old's Gloucester contract expires at the end of the season and if he pens a fresh Cherry and Whites deal, or joins another club in the Aviva Premiership, then he will no longer be eligible for the national side under the new selection policy.

The Dragons, now owned by the Welsh Rugby Union, have targeted Moriarty as a marquee signing at the start of a new era under boss Jackman.

Jackman is hopeful of selling his Rodney Parade project to the 17-times capped forward but the Dragons have competition for a national dual contract from Guinness PRO14 champions Scarlets while Cardiff Blues may also be interesting in the strong-running number eight/blindside.

The former Ireland hooker has held several meetings with Moriarty in a bid to convince him that the Dragons have a bright future, and has been getting good noises from the Lions tourist, but nothing has yet been agreed.

"We don't want to make any comment on recruitment until everything is signed, sealed and delivered," said Jackman.

"To do that you need to have the player signed and both clubs in agreement; unfortunately there is no story because we've had no confirmation from either the player of his agent unfortunately.

"We like Ross, we like his profile, we'd like him to come back to Wales and I think part of the reason he is interested is the new ruling that the WRU brought in.

"We'd love to have him here because he is a young, talented player and we have a lot of those that are progressing nicely."

“Out of respect for all of the teams that want to sign Ross, he’ll probably meet everybody and listen to what they have to say," he continued.

“Unfortunately there is no positive news yet and if we were able to sign him we would be singing about it.

“I didn’t meet him on Friday, I was actually up at Bryn Meadows giving a talk to Gwent teachers. It went very well and I saw that I supposed to apparently be up at Celtic Manor and had to check my diary…

“We’ve sold what we think this is about, as I am sure a lot of other clubs have.

“The fact that we are being linked with him is irrelevant until we have his signature. We would like to have him, we would love to have him but we haven’t got him.”

Jackman has made no secret about wanting to make big strides next season in the second year of a three-year project.

He has stated that he wants to bring in 12 new recruits and if they could snap up Moriarty then it would be a signing to make the rest of Europe sit up and take notice.

Moriarty is currently sidelined by a back injury that ended his Lions tour, meaning he was unavailable for the autumn internationals, missing out on a squad that features Dragons Elliot Dee, Leon Brown, Cory Hill and Hallam Amos.