FORMER Wales scrum-half Tavis Knoyle has earned a two-year contract extension at the Dragons after impressing boss Dean Ryan with his work ethic.

The 29-year-old has lived season to season recently, earning fresh deals in 2018 and 2019 after suffering serious knee and wrist injuries.

But director of rugby Ryan has been sufficiently impressed by Knoyle’s performances as back-up to captain Rhodri Williams to agree a deal through to 2022 with the half-back.

Knoyle made 12 appearances out of 19 in the campaign that was curtailed by coronavirus, four of them starts, to take his Dragons tally to 49.

His defensive work rate pleased the management and he helped secure late wins against the Ospreys with a fly-hack for Adam Warren’s try and the Cheetahs with an interception that led to a match-winning penalty.

South Wales Argus:

Knoyle spoke in January about how he was loving life under straight-shooting Ryan and his thirst for improvement at the Ystrad Mynach training base will continue for at least another two seasons.

“I'm enjoying the environment that Dean and the coaching staff have created and being challenged, which keeps me focused,” said Knoyle, who won the last of his 11 caps against Japan in 2013.

"My appetite to improve myself and those around me is as strong as ever. I want to feature as much as possible and also use my experience to also help those around me as we all strive to keep moving forward as a region.

"I feel we've grown as a team every week this season and I'm looking forward to being part of what we achieve in the future."

South Wales Argus:

Knoyle will aim to put the heat on Williams, who started in 14 of 19 games, and retain his place in the matchday squad.

Luke Baldwin spent 2019/20 on loan from Worcester and has another year left on his Warriors deal, although he was out in the cold under boss Alan Solomons and in December said he was keen on remaining at Rodney Parade.

Further back-up is provided by Wales Under-20s scrum half Dafydd Buckland, who is yet to make his regional debut, and fellow youngster Dan Babos, who hasn’t played since 2017/18.

Ryan is pleased that Knoyle, who has played for all four regions and also had a spell with Gloucester, will be keeping the skipper on his toes.

“He’s passionate about playing for Dragons, relishes the competition for the nine jersey and brings high standards, so we’re all pleased to keep him on board for the next few years,” said the director of rugby.

Knoyle follows Wales star Ross Moriarty, captain Williams, Ollie Griffiths, Josh Lewis, Rio Dyer and Aaron Jarvis in signing a contract extension.

All-action back rower Taine Basham committed to the Dragons earlier in the season along with fellow academy products Max Williams, Connor Edwards, Lennon Greggains, Josh Reynolds and Babos.