DEAN Ryan will add more experience to his Dragons squad this summer – but won't rush his recruitment drive for fear of making a costly mistake.

The Rodney Parade region have made an encouraging start to the season and head to Castres on Saturday looking to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup.

But they are operating with a thin squad, especially in the back three, and the director of rugby will look to fill some gaps for next season in his first transfer drive.

Ryan will do that along with bringing through the academy talent and faces a different challenge to when he worked in England with Bristol, Gloucester and Worcester.

The Dragons' budget will increase next season but the boss still has to make every penny count.

South Wales Argus:

"We haven't got the finances of everyone else, so what is depth? Depth for us might be opportunity (for those on the fringes) and might be young players," said Ryan.

"We definitely need to add some experience that can secure us, certainly when the national players are away because you can see the impact when they are back. We have to stabilise that – look at the fixture against Zebre (a 39-12 home loss) when the lads were away.

"We have got to get the balance right but we can't rush it because get something wrong and we can set this club back for a long way.

"If we look at adding people then we have got to make sure they are here for the right reasons, we've got to make sure they understand the challenge here and that they want to be part of it, otherwise we could put this club backwards.

"This club has a mixed record of attracting players and making it for the right reasons, and probably not being that transparent about what the challenge is.

"I think that we have gone about our business with a huge amount of transparency and sometimes you do get people that want to be in that sort of space, where developing a club at a very early stage is attractive to them. We'll talk to those people over the next couple of months."

South Wales Argus:

The Dragons currently have just two overseas players in their squad – Samoa lock Brandon Nansen and on-loan Worcester scrum-half Luke Baldwin.

A new contract was recently given to South African Brok Harris, the evergreen prop who is now Welsh-qualified after six seasons at Rodney Parade.

Ryan would love to bring in a few more like the front row stalwart.

"Overseas players play a really important part, if they are of the calibre to lead and influence in a positive way," said the director of rugby.

"When an overseas player just becomes another part of the market place is when it becomes a challenge.

"Every overseas player that has got criticism, it comes from that space, where they are just filling.

"Real quality, real internationals, real role model overseas players can be hugely influential in the game because having experiences in other environments and at high levels are always a positive for people at club level.

"They are in integral and important part in how sides grow and how leagues grow, but I also understand that you can get them wrong, and when you do get them wrong it sadly colours the picture of all those where you have got it right."