DEAN Ryan is confident that the Dragons will get bang for their buck out of on-loan Nick Tompkins, declaring the Wales centre will be as influential on the training field as he is in match action.

The Six Nations star will spend the next year at Rodney Parade following Saracens' relegation from the English Premiership for salary cap breaches.

The 25-year-old has committed his long-term future to Sarries and will return to Allianz Park regardless of the success of the spell in regional rugby.

Tompkins has moved to improve his Test chances and a hectic international calendar means he will frequently be with Wales rather than the Dragons.

However, director of rugby Ryan believes the presence of Test stars drives standards up at the region's Ystrad Mynach training base.

South Wales Argus:

"We want every player we have to aspire to play for Wales and when they play for Wales they're going to be away a bit," said the former England forward.

"To talk about a squad which is going to be away and without its best players comes as part of the challenge.

"We know by having more of them means in the short term it will be more challenging for us because we know the age and experience of the players who back up is young. We've got to go through that pain like we did in the Barbarians game last year (when beaten by Zebre in Newport).

"In the short term that will hurt, but it doesn't stop us wanting international players. I'm delighted Nick is going to be away.

"I'll be more interested when he's here, but I'm delighted he's good enough to be an international player and bring those experiences back to the Dragons.

"The standards set by international players are different. We've got players like Taine (Basham) and Ashton (Hewitt) who got on the fringes last year.

"We need to get more of those and more people pushing international squads. Rubbing shoulders is the fastest way of learning and that's why I think Nick's importance to us will be massive."

South Wales Argus:

Tompkins has linked up with his new teammates to start preparations for the August derbies that will finish off the 2019/20 Guinness PRO14 season.

He headed to Wales after helping Sarries to win the English title and Champions Cup.

"The opportunity for us is to get that level of experience and the level he plays at was just too good to miss," said Ryan.

"I've been on record numerous times as saying we're very early in the development journey. To get someone that knows what it looks like at the end of the journey means he can help confirm the stuff we're doing.

"That's really powerful to players who don't know what it looks like. You can tell them as many times as you like, but to be told by someone who has been there and done it is huge."