THERE will be no major announcement or fancy highlights package showcasing his talent but Dragons boss Dean Ryan could have a new option at 12.

In an ideal world it would be Joe Tomane arriving to be a contender for midfield along with Jack Dixon, Adam Warren, Connor Edwards, the promising Aneurin Owen and Tom Griffiths, who is on the comeback trail from a serious knee injury.

The Rodney Parade region held talks with the 30-year-old, who won all of his 17 Australia caps on the wing but featured predominantly as a centre for Leinster.

Tomane was keen and apparently excited by the challenge; the deal was almost complete but then coronavirus pandemic threw a spanner in the works.

The versatile back hasn’t become a Dragon like Jonah Holmes, Nick Tompkins and Joe Maksymiw, who were all pictured at their new Ystrad Mynach workplace this week after the green light was given for the return to training.

It’s forced the Dragons into a rethink as they build their attack under new coach Gordon Ross, who has joined forces with Barry Maddocks.

The 2019/20 campaign was a promising one with Ryan’s team showing grit and tenacity to record some fine wins.

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However, they were undeniably reliant on Sam Davies and it was through his left boot that success was earned against Worcester, the Scarlets and Cheetahs (granted, wet-weather rugby was needed on plenty of occasions last season).

After arriving from the Ospreys, the Wales international fly-half started in 16 of 19 games and stayed on due to the lack of an alternative.

Only when he was away on international duty did Arwel Robson and Jacob Botica start against Benetton and Zebre respectively while Robson was trusted at 10 for the trip to Russia to face Enisei-STM.

That will change this season with fit-again Josh Lewis providing more competition for Davies – and potentially providing another ball-playing option in the same XV.

The Dragons have to get creative to be creative and while Lewis wouldn’t provide the same defensive tenacity as rock-solid Dixon, he would provide another pair of attacking eyes and possess the distribution to get Tompkins, Holmes, Jordan Williams, Ashton Hewitt and Jared Rosser motoring out wide.

There is the need to manipulate defences and use their aggression and line speed against them, something that England have done by combining George Ford and Owen Farrell and Ireland are contemplating with Jonathan Sexton and Joey Carberry.

Naturally Lewis, who admittedly doesn't have Farrell's physicality, will want to displace Davies and wear 10 on his back but he’d jump at the chance at 12 or 15.

South Wales Argus:

After 17 months without a game – he ruptured knee ligaments in pre-season last year – the 28-year-old will be happy to be versatile, and that’s a must for a squad as small as the Dragons’.

Versatility used to be a big thing for former boss Lyn Jones, who knew that he’d have to plug gaps throughout the course of a season.

It’s why the ability of Brok Harris and Aaron Jarvis to play either side of the scrum is so vital while being down to five specialist locks – Matthew Screech, Joe Davies, Maksymiw, Max Williams and inexperienced Ben Carter – makes the ability of back rowers Lewis Evans and Huw Taylor to shift forward so welcome.

Holmes has moved to Wales to push for Test honours in the back three but Ryan has already raised to possibility of looking at him as a 13.

Could the same apply for Will Talbot-Davies? He’s a big lad and times have changed since 2007 but I remember watching Jamie Roberts being an excellent full-back for Cardiff at Cross Keys, with the decline of his kicking game as he rose to become a Lions centre a real mystery.

The Dragons believe that former fly-half Owen has the talent to take the next step after impressing with Ebbw Vale and then Wales Under-20s but won’t put too much pressure on the 19-year-old just yet.

Perhaps Owen Williams will be an option next summer after a year in Japan – the region are sure to chase the Wales international if he returns to push for caps.

In the meantime, it might be worth having a look at Lewis as a different sort of option at 12, taking some of the defence’s focus off Davies.

Given the firepower out wide and explosive back rowers, the Dragons have to get a little more expansive in the second year under Ryan.

Fly-half Lewis as well as young Owen could give the coaching team food for thought. It's certainly worth an experiment.