DEAN Ryan has resisted the temptation to fling Gonzalo Bertranou in at the deep end for the Dragons but he believes the Argentina scrum-half is a perfect fit for European rugby.

The 27-year-old has signed until the end of the season, although it is likely to be a longer stay provided he settles in Wales.

The signs have been promising with Bertranou making an immediate impression on his new teammates when training in Ystrad Mynach.

He is living a box kick away from Rodney Parade and will take to the pitch against Leinster tomorrow evening, but only to help with pre-match preparations.

Director of rugby Ryan has opted to stick with captain Rhodri Williams as his starter and on-loan Worcester scrum-half Luke Baldwin as the bench back-up.

However, he believes the new boy will be an influential figure in the Guinness PRO14 run-in.

TALENT: Argentina scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou has signed for the Dragons

TALENT: Argentina scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou has signed for the Dragons

“I would say his basics are very good and when you look at Argentinian 9s they are similar to the French model in terms of sitting around their forwards,” said Ryan.

“His field positioning and his kicking is very good and his understanding of movement within a game is very good, so I think he is actually well suited to northern hemisphere, PRO14 rugby and I am looking forward to seeing him introduce himself.”

Ryan doesn’t expect there to be any language barriers for the Spanish-speaker – “He is easier to understand than some others here so there is no challenge about his English!” – and has brought Bertranou in after an injury blow.

Tavis Knoyle ruptured knee ligaments in the defeat to the Ospreys on January 9 and is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

“We had to look at what options are and what options we could add,” said Ryan. “In the days that Gonzalo has been here he has had a fantastic input into our environment.

“He has been in these situations before with Jaguares in trying to build them up from a new franchise to being competitive. He understands the challenge and is looking forward to helping us.”

South Wales Argus: PRESSURE: Rhodri Williams has a new rival for his startPRESSURE: Rhodri Williams has a new rival for his start

Williams has had a stranglehold on the 9 jersey since moving to the Dragons from Bristol in the summer of 2018.

Baldwin is spending a second season on loan from Worcester and his Warriors contract expires at the end of the campaign.

Knoyle, who had cemented himself as Williams' back-up, has another year left on his deal while Babos, 20, made his last Dragons appearance in March 2018.

"I've spoken to all of the scrum-halves and told them that there shouldn't be a moment in your career when you are not under pressure," said Ryan.

"There is an opportunity for Rhodri to get better, it's the response to pressure that drives teams on.

"I've every confidence people will respond in the right way and Gonzalo will challenge in the right way. That's great for me as a coach."