PONTYPOOL have signed former Dragons number eight Ieuan Jones to boost their bid for a return to the Premiership.

The 26-year-old from Blackwood has signed for Pooler from Championship rivals Cross Keys and will aim to help the club win a fourth title on the spin and return to the top flight.

Jones, who can also play blindside flanker, played for Pontypool in 2009/10 when coming through the ranks at the Dragons, going on to have spells with Cardiff Blues, Neath, Bargoed and Keys.

The hard-running forward, who made 32 appearances for the Rodney Parade region and scored five tries, is relishing a fresh start.

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“The club and set-up has changed a lot since I was last here and I was impressed with the plans the Jeffreys family and Leighton Jones have for the club,” he said.

"The club has won the last three Championship titles, but this season will be a tough proposition. With four relegated Premiership sides now in the division, the competitive nature of the league will only go up.

“However, I personally believe that can only be a good thing. As a player and as a team you develop and grow when tested and I'm sure it will bring the best out of me this season.

"I like to think I bring a physical edge to any game I play and I’ll always do everything I can for the betterment of the team.”

Pooler already have plenty of strength up front but head coach Leighton Jones is pleased to have the abrasive back row forward in his squad.

"Ieuan is a very positive signing for us,” said the boss. “He has played regional and Premiership rugby throughout his career and to be able to tempt him to Pontypool Park shows that we are an attractive proposition to quality players.

"He is a formidable force in the back-row and he is capable of playing an expansive game, which will fit in well with the direction we are heading next season.

“We now have a lot of strength in depth throughout the squad and we are well prepared for what will be another highly demanding season.”

Pooler kick off their campaign by entertaining Beddau on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm).