THE DRAGONS have signed Argentina scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou on an initial deal until the end of the season with the Pumas international in contention for a debut against Leinster on Friday night.

The 27-year-old has been training with his new teammates in Ystrad Mynach and could make a rapid debut against the Guinness PRO14 champions at Rodney Parade.

The Dragons have also brought in 21-year-old full-back Ioan Davies on loan from Cardiff Blues – he will provide cover due to Will Talbot-Davies being sidelined with a knee injury suffered in Bordeaux in December – but it is the signing of Bertranou that is eye-catching.

The 26-times capped half-back has been brought in for the rest of 2020/21 but there are clauses that will see the deal extended as long as the Argentinean settles in Wales.

Bertranou and has already made an impression on his new teammates, with the Puma set to put the heat on captain Rhodri Williams for his starting spot.

South Wales Argus: PUMA: Gonzalo Bertranou in action against WalesPUMA: Gonzalo Bertranou in action against Wales

“I’m looking forward to starting to train and play with the team. I’m very happy,” said the scrum-half, who played in the 2019 World Cup and helped Argentina stun New Zealand in November.

“This is my first time in Wales, so it is an exciting time for me. It is a good opportunity for me to prove myself.

“I love the way the Wales team plays and obviously Dragons, so I am now looking forward to start playing.”

Director of rugby Ryan is hoping that Bertranou, who played Super Rugby for the Jaguares, will hit the ground running.

He said: “We’re pleased Gonzalo joins us and we’re excited to see the impact he can make at the region.

“Gonzalo brings real quality to our set-up that will increase competition, while his international experiences will help the wider squad to grow.”

Bertranou will battle with Williams, on-loan Worcester scrum-half Luke Baldwin and Dan Babos for the 9 jersey. Tavis Knoyle is currently sidelined with a knee injury.

South Wales Argus: LOAN: Ioan DaviesLOAN: Ioan Davies

Davies adds to the depth in the back three in the absence of Wales Sevens international Talbot-Davies, who suffered a blow in the Champions Cup defeat to Bordeaux-Begles.

The 21-year-old made his Cardiff Blues debut last February against Edinburgh at Murrayfield and faced the Ospreys at Rodney Parade in August.

Jordan Williams is likely to start at full-back against Leinster while Wales international Jonah Holmes is nearing a return from a head injury.