THE Dragons have pulled off a major coup by signing hard-hitting back Sio Tomkinson from New Zealand.

The 25-year-old centre/wing will arrive from the Highlanders next season, the seventh confirmed recruit as Dean Ryan reshapes his squad.

The director of rugby has bolstered his pack and has now added a game-changing back in the shape of Tomkinson, who is known for being uncompromising in defence and explosive with ball in hand.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to bring over a player with a huge attacking threat and strike power from the southern hemisphere,” said Ryan, who is set to lose Wales winger Jonah Holmes.

“Sio has impressed throughout his time in Super Rugby and he is now excited about a new chapter and making a big impact with us.

“We look forward to welcoming Sio and his family to Wales and to him making Rodney Parade his new home.”

The Dunedin-born back, who has played for New Zealand Under-20s but has previously expressed interest in representing Samoa, has been signed primarily to feature in midfield but is also an option out wide.

Tomkinson has made 43 appearances and scored 14 tries for the Highlanders but is yet to feature in this year’s Super Rugby Pacific competition due to an ankle injury.

He will head to Europe this summer and feature in pre-season ready to make an impact at the Dragons.

“I am looking forward to heading over to Wales later in the year to join up with the Dragons,” said Tomkinson.

“Since leaving school, I have been fortunate to be involved in professional rugby and played for two New Zealand teams, the Highlanders and Otago Rugby.

“I have made some great friends and both teams mean a lot to me, but it’s time for a new chapter and I’m excited about taking this opportunity at the Dragons.

“Dean Ryan has spoken to me about the direction the team is moving, and I want to be a part of this.

“I look forward to travelling to Newport later in 2022 to connect with the coaches, players, and the loyal supporters of the Dragons.”

The Dragons have signed Ospreys loosehead Rhodri Jones, Ulster hooker Bradley Roberts, locks Sean Lonsdale and George Nott from Exeter and London Irish, Clermont fly-half JJ Hanrahan and Bath centre Max Clark.

Clark and Tomkinson will join Jack Dixon and Aneurin Owen as confirmed midfield options while stalwart Adam Warren, who has been in fine form of late, is out of contract this summer.

Tom Griffiths and former Wales centre Cory Allen, who is yet to play for the club after being signed while on the comeback trail from a serious knee injury, look set for the exit.