CLUBS need to a wait a year until they are able to conclusively pass judgement on a recruitment drive but the gut feeling is that it's a job well done for the Dragons ahead of 2018/19.

With the confirmation of a move for Samoa lock Brandon Nansen last week, the Rodney Parade side finished their business for the start of the next campaign.

The welcome packs have been sent out to 14 players of varying quality and who will shoulder varying expectations while handshakes and framed jerseys have been given to 19 individuals that face fresh challenges.

It is a dramatic transformation and, as ever, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

Some newcomers will be hits and others will be misses. No doubt the odd leaver will prompt questions as to how they were allowed to slip away, others will barely cause a ripple.

But on the face of it this has been an excellent window for head coach Bernard Jackman, albeit one that perhaps has been slightly hindered by pulling off a stellar signing so early in Ross Moriarty.

Convincing the Lion to swap Gloucester for Newport was such a big statement that none of the other signings stood a chance. Everybody that followed him through the door was always going to be relatively underwhelming.

In Moriarty, the Dragons already had their poster boy for 2018/19 and #announcebevington was never going to trend on Twitter, even if former Osprey Ryan is a solid signing.

But even Moriarty comes with an asterisk next to his name – the 24-year-old is one of Europe's best back rowers when on song but that back injury, one that caused him to struggle tackling stairs, will have to be carefully managed and provides a few fears.

But the Dragons' past means it is highly unlikely that they will get a player to sign on the dotted line that doesn't have something to prove or something 'wrong' with them.

That comes in many forms: a talent who has been hindered by injuries, an elder statesman on the decline, a player of promise who has found chances hard to come by. Sometimes they are just cheap.

Twelve years ago Paul Turner was given the odd warning about Colin Charvis… that 'trouble maker' didn't turn out to be a bad recruit.

Unless you are a side regularly challenging in the Champions Cup, and one with deep pockets to match, then signing the finished article, a player of established Test quality is nigh on impossible.

So, we must wait to rate the recruits but it is hard to recall a more promising recent window for the Dragons.

In Richard Hibbard and Aaron Jarvis they have signed Test players who will slot into the matchday 23 seamlessly, providing competition/back-up to bright front row prospects Elliot Dee and Leon Brown.

In Rhodri Williams they have signed a player who will surely start the season in the 9 jersey, scenting a chance to make a late charge for the World Cup.

In Jordan Williams and Dafydd Howells they have signed dangerous runners, one with a slight question mark over their defence and the other with doubts over their injury record. They will provide competition for Hallam Amos, Ashton Hewitt, Jared Rosser and Zane Kirchner.

Loosehead Bevington should be a solid deputy for the influential Brok Harris while hooker Rhys Lawrence is a more experienced option behind Dee and Hibbard, one that in time should be passed by Wales Under-20s internationals Ellis Shipp and Will Griffiths.

Punts have been taken on fly-half Josh Lewis and flanker/lock Huw Taylor from Bath and Worcester respectively; at the very worst they will be steady squad men.

In RGC's Tiaan Loots and Jacob Botica they have signed Principality Premiership players who have the chance to show they can cut it as full-timers, a similar situation to scrum-half Rhodri Davies from Rotherham.

Then there is the intriguing final recruit – Nansen.

Jackman seems convinced that the Aucklander, arriving from an injury-hit season with Stade Francais, will provide his pack with the sort of hard-hitting to make him a firm favourite of the Hazell Terrace.

The video footage looks promising but it's wise to treat such highlights with caution. I could probably string enough saves together from my five-a-side goalkeeping to get on Alex McLeish's Scotland radar.

But the signing hasn't been made on Vimeo alone, due diligence has been done and hopefully the Samoa lock will prove to be the perfect foil for Cory Hill.

At 24, he isn't anywhere near the finished article but if he was then he wouldn't be moving from the Top 14 to the Dragons.

The hope is that the Rodney Parade region will gradually move up the food chain, demonstrating themselves to be a good destination for recruits that have less to prove.

The 14 new recruits have a massive role to play in that – had the Dragons started 2017/18 like they finished it then it's doubtful that Jackman's phone calls to Moriarty and Rhodri Williams would have been answered.

The region need a good September, October and November if they are to make the next step and be in the mix for additions of more quality.

There had to be some realism about what the Dragons could bring in this summer but it would be nice if this time next year we are talking about the likes of Josh Adams and Owen Williams heading for Rodney Parade after the World Cup.