WALES winger Rio Dyer is confident that the Dragons can ‘turn the stigma around’ after becoming the first of the club’s crown jewels to sign a new contract.

The 24-year-old from Rogerstone has agreed what is described by the Rodney Parade club as a ‘multi-year’ deal.

World Cup wing Dyer was reported to have been on the radar of clubs in England and France, although the Dragons were always confident of keeping the speedster.

He has signed fresh terms ahead of the Six Nations – when he is set to be a leading figure after Louis Rees-Zammit’s shock decision to quit rugby – and the club will now attempt to convince Test teammates Aaron Wainwright and Taine Basham to follow.

The Dragons are one from bottom of the United Rugby Championship and traditionally finish bottom of the Welsh clubs, but Dyer was happy to sign up for more.

South Wales Argus: Dragons and Wales wing Rio DyerDragons and Wales wing Rio Dyer (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“It’s a proud moment for me to sign and show my commitment to my home club,” he said.

“I’ve been here since I was with the under-16s, have grown up alongside many of my teammates and really enjoy the environment that has been built here by [head coach] Dai Flanagan.

“We have a lot of talent in the squad that I believe we can grow with. We haven’t had the best of years or seasons, but we’ve got something good going on here now and everyone’s buying in to it.

“We are confident we can turn the stigma around and start getting more wins and putting in better performances not only for ourselves but also for our fans who come to watch and support us throughout.”

The Dragons were helped by the Welsh Rugby Union’s selection policy that meant that Dyer, who has won 14 caps, was 11 short of the figure needed to continue his Test career while playing outside Wales.

The Wales Sevens international has developed impressively in recent seasons, adding to his raw pace and finishing ability, and Flanagan believes his deal is a statement of intent.

South Wales Argus: Dragons winger Rio Dyer on the run for WalesDragons winger Rio Dyer on the run for Wales (Image: Press Association)

“We want to retain our best young talent and build our club around talented, driven, and ambitious Gwent men who are proud to represent us. Rio personifies that and is a key figure for us going forward,” he said.

“Rio’s development over the last few seasons, for both club and country, has been truly impressive, alongside his attitude, professionalism, and desire to continue to improve.

“He wants to be a part of what we are building here in the long-term and we’re thrilled that his story will now continue as a Dragon.”

The Dragons are looking to secure fresh terms with Wales back row forwards Wainwright, who has been linked with English clubs, and Taine Basham, who is interesting the Scarlets plus clubs over the border.

The Rodney Parade club are keen to keep hold of their homegrown talent but there is an acknowledgement that money is tight and tough decisions have to be made.

That is impacting the situation with Wales tighthead Leon Brown, who is being looked at by Bristol.

The 27-year-old is a top-class prop when fit and firing but has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons, therefore the Dragons need to look at value.

Brown has been selected in the Six Nations squad and needs two caps to hit 25 and be eligible for Test rugby if he plays outside Wales.

If the Dragons don’t offer what is considered a reasonable offer then he could potentially remain available for Warren Gatland even if he heads for a fresh challenge.