JONAH Holmes believes the Dragons is the best place to force his way into the Wales team after the speedster signed a three-year contract at Rodney Parade.

The 27-year-old full-back/wing will start his deal with the Dragons, which will take him up to the next World Cup, next week after being released by Leicester.

Holmes has won three Wales caps and will be on Wayne Pivac’s list of 38 Test players, which sees the Welsh Rugby Union pay 80 per cent of individuals’ contracts with regions.

He will now aim to shine in Newport to move up the pecking order after Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Josh Adams, Liam Williams and Johnny McNicholl were picked ahead of him in the Six Nations.

South Wales Argus:

“I’m pleased to finalise the move and can’t wait to get started in a new competition and link up with my teammates,” said Holmes, who was born in Stockport and qualifies for Wales through his late grandmother from Cwmllynfell.

“I’ve spoken at length to Dean (Ryan, director of rugby), know the ambition for the future and have seen squad that is being built. I’m excited by the challenge ahead.

“My focus is now totally on Dragons, getting integrated into the squad as soon as possible and trying to get my name on that first team sheet.

“I also have aspirations to be part of the Wales set-up going forward, be in the next squad, so the support of the national coaching team throughout this process has been great.

“My thanks also go to Leicester. I’ve had three good years with Tigers, learnt a lot and got on well with everyone. I thank them for their understanding and wish everyone at the club all the best for the future.”

Former scrum-half Holmes flourished at Welford Road after arriving from Yorkshire Carnegie, scoring 24 tries in 45 games.

The Dragons currently have Jordan Williams, Ashton Hewitt, Jared Rosser, Owen Jenkins, Rio Dyer and Will Talbot-Davies as senior options while Dafydd Howells is in negotiations with his deal expiring this summer.

Boss Ryan believes the arrival of the rapid Holmes, who made his Test debut against Tonga in 2018, will increase competition and add to his firepower.

South Wales Argus:

“Jonah is a top-class international who is excited to make the move to Wales and join the Dragons,” said the director of rugby.

“Jonah has big ambitions, in both the domestic and international arena, and we are pleased that he believes that the Dragons is the right fit for him to be able to achieve those goals.”

Holmes is the region’s first confirmed signing with his Test teammate Nick Tompkins, a centre, set to follow on a season-long loan from Saracens.

The Dragons are also closing in on Welsh-qualified Connacht lock Joe Macsymiw and are in advanced talks with Joe Tomane, who won 17 caps on the wing for Australia but has been lined up for midfield after playing predominantly at 12 for Leinster this season.