POWERFUL number eight Dan Baker will aim to earn a long-term Dragons deal after signing until the end of the season.

The 28-year-old former Ospreys forward has been brought in by the Rodney Parade side because of a back row crisis.

Baker, who won the last of his three Wales caps before the 2015 World Cup, spent the first half of the campaign with Stade Montois in France but was allowed to leave at the start of the year.

He has been given a short-term contract by the Dragons and is set to make his debut in Friday’s Guinness PRO14 fixture against Leinster in Newport.

South Wales Argus: SIGNING: Dan Baker in training (Picture courtesy of Dragons)SIGNING: Dan Baker in training (Picture courtesy of Dragons)

Baker said: “I’m excited to be returning to Wales and the chance to represent the Dragons.

“I enjoyed my rugby experience over in France, but now my focus is getting involved here as soon as possible.

“There is a talented squad at the Dragons and from my conversations with Dean (Ryan, director of rugby) the ambition is very clear. I’m excited to play my part and look to show what I can do the rest of this season.”

Baker has already been training with his new teammates while waiting for the paperwork to be completed and was poised to feature against Edinburgh last Friday only for the game to be postponed because of a frozen pitch.

The Dragons are currently without Aaron Wainwright because of the Six Nations and his fellow Wales international Ross Moriarty is on the comeback trail from autumn ankle surgery.

In-form Harri Keddie suffered a head injury against Connacht while his replacement Lewis Evans finished the game but suffered a calf strain.

The Dragons are already without Ollie Griffiths (ankle) and Taine Basham (fractured forearm) along with Lennon Greggains (shoulder) and James Benjamin (leg).

South Wales Argus: Dan Baker on the charge for WalesDan Baker on the charge for Wales

The long list of absentees has led to an opportunity for Baker to reignite his career in Wales, one that was derailed by injury misfortune.

The number eight from Ystradgynlais suffered a horror knee injury in October 2017 that needed two operations and ruled him out until September 2019, when he then suffered a should blow that sidelined him for another three months.

“We’re pleased to bring Dan back to Wales and into our environment,” said Ryan.

“He is eager to take the opportunity and we look forward to seeing the impact he can make for us in the second half of this season.”