THE Dragons’ season may have been stopped in its tracks by coronavirus but Argus readers still get their annual chance to honour their top performer.

Voting is open for the Argus Dragon of the Year with six of Dean Ryan’s squad in the running for the honour.

Back row forward Taine Basham, tighthead prop Leon Brown, fly-half Sam Davies, loosehead prop Brok Harris, lock Matthew Screech and scrum-half Rhodri Williams are the candidates after strong campaigns for the region.

Throughout this week we have given the lowdown on the potential winners that are looking to succeed last year’s winner Aaron Wainwright. Today's nominee is TAINE BASHAM

South Wales Argus:

The season started with a ticking off from new boss Dean Ryan and ended with the young flanker being a member of the Six Nations squad.

Basham was given his debut by Bernard Jackman in 2018 and quickly impressed with his dynamism with ball in hand and habit of coming up with big moments.

That continued to be the case in 2019/20 but the 20-year-old from Talywain, last season's also improved markedly at doing the dirty work.

The Dragons are blessed with a wealth of back row options yet Basham was a firm fixture whether at openside or number eight, the only blot on his copybook a red card for a dangerous tackle at Worcester.

Basham finished the season with a remarkable strike rate of eight tries in his 17 games, including a stunning hat-trick against Castres in the European Challenge Cup in front of the Wales management, who then called him up for the November fixture against the Barbarians.

The back rower’s performances in the league led to him being on plenty of leaderboards in the PRO14 - 12th for tries (5), 16th for carries (93), 30th for metres gained (328), fifth for tackles made (157) and fifth for turnovers won (9).

It seems to be a matter of when and not if Basham becomes a Wales international.

South Wales Argus:

"Taine has big moments in every game that he plays," said national forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys.

"You see a lot of players who are a pretty good at this and that, but Taine has moments that stand out.

"He has great awareness and we talk about how you have to be athletic to play international rugby – he is superbly athletic and powerful.

"He is a young man who is still learning the game but he definitely has all the attributes to play Test rugby and have an impact."

With Wainwright, Ross Moriarty and Ollie Griffiths as back row options along with Harri Keddie, Lewis Evans, Huw Taylor, James Benjamin there is little chance of Basham getting ahead of himself.

"Dean can be brutally honest and that is a good thing. I like that direct approach and he has kept all our feet on the ground.

"When we talked at the start of the season we spoke about getting my game going, what I needed to improve."

If Basham, who was on the radar of English clubs when he signed a new contract at the start of the season, picks up where he left off whenever the season resumes then he will not only be cementing himself in Ryan's back row but giving Wayne Pivac food for thought.

Vote for your Dragon of the year: HERE