VERSATILE forward Huw Taylor intends to bulk up this summer to make the Dragons' locks feel the heat after signing a new contract.

The 25-year-old has agreed fresh terms to stay at Rodney Parade for the next campaign after enjoying a strong end to the 2021/22 season.

The Dragons have also been in negotiations with loosehead Aki Seiuli and wing Jared Rosser with deals close to being completed.

Taylor has operated primarily as a blindside flanker since signing from Worcester in 2018 but he has also provided cover as a lock, a position that he played when winning the 2016 World Rugby U20 Championship with England.

The Welsh-qualified forward will remain at the Dragons with his presence especially valuable in international periods.

Taylor will be charged with competing with back rowers Ross Moriarty, Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham, Ollie Griffiths, Harri Keddie, Ben Fry and Lennon Greggains.

However, he will also push locks Will Rowlands, Ben Carter, Joe Davies and new recruits George Nott and Sean Lonsdale.

South Wales Argus: Versatile: Dragons lock/flanker Huw TaylorVersatile: Dragons lock/flanker Huw Taylor

“My recent shift to a mobile, lineout calling second row has paid dividends and I’m aiming to build on that momentum during off season and pre-season to be prepared for next year,” said Taylor, who has made 43 appearances and started lock just twice.

“I intend to maintain my mobility, even though I am bulking up, so that I can also play back row when required.”

“We have some world-class players and top blokes at Dragons, and I believe if we raise our confidence levels and build on some early successes next season we can really move forward,” he continued.

“All this is all underpinned by the coaching and support staff, supported by a fantastic and successful youth set-up.

“The loyalty of the supporters will make this all possible. We owe them some wins and are determined to show our pride in our jersey.”

Director of rugby Dean Ryan hailed the performances of Taylor in the run-in when the Dragons were without Rowlands and Carter through injury plus Davies because of suspension.

He said: “Huw is eager to play his part in what we’re aiming to achieve, and we’re pleased he remains with us on that journey.

“He is a valuable member of our squad who has shown his versatility, particularly in the second half of this season, operating at both lock and in the back row.”