HUW Taylor’s appetite for the dirty work has earned the flanker a new two-year deal with the Dragons.

The 23-year-old has extended his stay with the Rodney Parade region after making 25 appearances in two seasons since joining from Worcester.

The former England Under-20s forward, who qualifies for Wales through his mother from Aberystwyth, was a firm fixture in the Dragons XV at the start of director of rugby Dean Ryan’s reign.

With Ross Moriarty and Aaron Wainwright on World Cup duty, Taylor started in seven of the first nine fixtures and came off the bench in the other two. That came after he made just two starts in 14 outings in his first season in Newport.

He dropped down the pecking order in the middle section of the campaign but remains an important member of the squad, especially given that next season is likely to feature plenty of Test rugby.

South Wales Argus:

“I have really enjoyed my time at Dragons and have built a good relationship with the players and staff,” said Taylor, who played lock for England Under-20s but is predominantly a blindside.

“This year there has been a buzz and a belief about the place. There’s a determination to get better and we are trying new techniques and ways of learning to improve.

“I’m ambitious for the team and for myself. I will work as hard as I can to develop my game and ensure Dragons are as successful as possible.

“It’s a great region, I am proud to be part of it and excited for what the next two years will offer.”

South Wales Argus:

Taylor admitted in October that he isn’t as explosive as some of his rivals – “There are 'moment' players like Ollie Griffiths, Harrison Keddie, Taine Basham then the likes of me and Lewis Evans who are there to put the graft in, hit the rucks and do the dirty work” – but his defensive work and lineout ability is valued highly by the management.

Ryan quickly made it clear when he arrived last summer that the Dragons needed to value the work that underpins "the sparkly stuff" and the blindside ticks the boxes for that.

"Huw is hard-working and very consistent,” said the director of rugby. “He is fully committed to helping us achieve our long-term aspirations and enjoys working hard in an environment where he can develop as a player.”