DRAGONS boss Dai Flanagan admits size matters in the United Rugby Championship after a recruitment drive that has put an emphasis on power.

The Rodney Parade club have so far made four new signings for next season after snapping up Wales blindside/lock Shane Lewis-Hughes, Tonga number eight Solomone Funaki and a pair of Australians in lock Steve Cummins and centre Harry Wilson.

They have also brought in South African wing/centre Chris Hollis and former Ospreys and Cardiff tighthead Dmitri Arhip on short-term deals that are likely to be extended into next season.

Flanagan isn’t finished – “there is a little business that I’d still like to get done” – but is pleased by what he has added so far.

“If we put an SOS out then it was for big men because we need power. The South Africans and Irish have big teams and we need to match that,” said the head coach.

“We have skilful players in Wales and we have a great ball-moving team, with certain players like Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham, Harrison Keddie, who can break defences. We need those big men.”

Back row has traditionally been an area of strength for the Dragons but they have been stretched in that department this season.

That has led to the arrivals of Lewis-Hughes and Funaki to join Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham, Harri Keddie, Ollie Griffiths and the up-and-coming Ryan Woodman and George Young.

South Wales Argus: SIGNING: Dragons new boy Solomone FunakiSIGNING: Dragons new boy Solomone Funaki (Image: Huw Evans/Dragons)

“Look at Glasgow, we had a hooker [Sam Scarfe] covering back row. Back row and second row is arguably the most collision areas of the team and you need depth,” said Flanagan.

“We have a great back row but how often have we been able to field them? We need to go two or three deep to make sure we are functioning in the league and don’t go to places like Glasgow without cover in the back row. Our recruitment has been specific.”

Flanagan also makes no apologies about targeting players from overseas.

The Dragons have been given the green light for the Funaki, Cummins, Wilson and Hollis deals after showing the Welsh Rugby Union their development plans for the likes of Woodman, Joe Westwood and Harri Ackerman.

"I was fortunate enough to play in the Cardiff ‘Galacticos’ era,” said former fly-half Flanagan.

"Xavier Rush produced Sam Warburton, Paul Tito produced Bradley Davies, Ben Blair produced Leigh Halfpenny and Casey Laulala produced Jamie Roberts.

“It's no coincidence that these players next to them had fantastic careers given the example they set.

"I saw it down west with Steve Cummins and the forwards down there. I saw it first-hand, he was the ultimate professional with a very level head with experience and he understands the game.

"Again Kalamafoni added to that with the Josh Macleod era. We are hoping Funaki brings exactly what Kalamafoni brought down west.”