SCRUM-HALF Rhodri Williams says demanding Dragons boss Dean Ryan is helping him flourish after signing a new two-year deal at Rodney Parade.

The 26-year-old Wales international has been a key figure since joining from Bristol in the summer of 2018.

Williams has played in 35 of 39 possible fixtures and has captained the side this season.

He has formed a strong partnership with fly-half Sam Davies and his controlling performances have led to suggestions the three-times capped international, whose last Wales outing was against Scotland in 2014, is back in the Test reckoning.

Williams led from the front in last weekend's stirring derby win against the Scarlets, the club where he made his name, with a key try in the first half.

He says the strides made in the first half of the campaign under new director of rugby Ryan made it a no-brainer to sign fresh terms.

South Wales Argus:

"As the Scarlets result shows, we are moving in the right direction and I want to be a part of it. It's a challenge and hopefully we can keep building," said Williams.

"I have no regrets about that decision to come back to Wales because it's a pleasure to be part of the club and I am loving my time here.

"I get challenged every day that I come in and as a rugby player that is what you want – you don't want to get too comfortable and you want to be challenged to keep improving.

"This move has improved me as a player, 100 per cent. Dean challenges you day to day and he opens you up to learning different ways of the game."

Ryan opted for Williams as captain when Cory Hill was on Wales duty at the start of the season.

The scrum-half kept the role despite the return of the influential forward in the wins against Worcester and the Scarlets and Ryan believes he is flourishing with the extra responsibility.

South Wales Argus:

"It is fantastic news that Rhodri has become the latest player to sign new terms with us," said Ryan.

"He is an important player in our group and has embraced captaining the team.

"We are trying to build momentum here at the Dragons, which the players can see.

"It is important that they feel that as a region we are supporting them to achieve their ambitions."

In October the Dragons announced new deals for Taine Basham and his fellow bright prospects Lennon Greggains, Max Williams, Connor Edwards, Josh Reynolds and Dan Babos.

Last week Wales back row forward Ollie Griffiths committed to the club on a long-term contract and more key figures are set to follow in the coming weeks while Ryan also looks to bring in fresh blood.