FORMER Dragons front row forward Hugh Gustafson, who cut his coaching teeth with the age-grade sides at Rodney Parade, has landed a job on the Wales Women management team.

The 31-year-old has appointed as forwards coach by boss Rowland Phillips with ex-Dragons wing/full-back Gareth Wyatt continuing as backs coach.

Gustafson arrived at the Dragons in 2007 and was a hugely popular figure when making 151 appearances for the region, mostly at loosehead prop before he converted to hooker.

The west Walian was an influential leader in the squad and also helped in the development of future stars when coaching age-grade teams.

Gustafson left for the Ospreys in 2016 and combined his playing role with that of academy skills coach at the Liberty Stadium, forwards coach at Swansea RFC and head coach at Swansea University.

Now he is relishing the chance to test himself as part of Phillips' international set-up

"I had the phone call a couple of months ago from Rowland offering me the role and it's a great achievement for me, coming out of playing rugby and going into coaching," said Gustafson. "I am looking forward to the challenge ahead.

"At the minute I am head coach for the Ospreys Women. It's a great thing to be close to the ground, watching all of the regional games."

Phillips believes the pair can help Wales improve on last year's results after they finished bottom of the Six Nations after failing to build on their opening round win against Scotland.

"Gareth and Hugh are both rugby people, and while both have played to a high level they've also made great inroads into coaching, so they understand the environment we're creating for the team," said Phillips.

"They're very in tune with how the women's game is developing in Wales, and they've got a clear, detailed approach to the international game which will serve the women's programme well going forward.

"Hugh has shown a lot of promise already, making a smooth transition from playing to coaching via the Principality Premiership, BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) and regional age-grade pathways, so it's an exciting move for him."

l Zane Kirchner is poised for his Bristol debut tonight after joining the Bears on loan from the Dragons.

The former Sprinboks back, who can play full-back, centre or fly-half, moved to the west country on a one-month loan this week to cover for injuries.

Kirchner has been named on the bench for tonight's Gallagher Premiership derby against Gloucester at Kingsholm.

The 31-times capped back has fallen down the pecking order at the Dragons with Jordan Williams, who moved from Bristol in the summer, currently first choice at 15.