THE Dragons are set to sign Lloyd Evans on an initial one-year deal after the fly-half negotiated an early departure from Gloucester.

The Rodney Parade region have been hunting an experienced 10 to battle with and share starts with up-and-coming Will Reed, allowing Angus O’Brien to return to full-back.

The Dragons were interested in Wales international Gareth Anscombe but his decision to head for Gloucester has had a knock-on effect.

Evans has opted to leave Kingsholm and the Welsh-qualified playmaker, son of former Scarlets chairman Huw, is heading for Rodney Parade.

A deal has been agreed with the 28-year-old for a long time but there has been a delay in getting it rubber-stamped by the Welsh Rugby Union, who are ensuring the four professional clubs stick to a salary cap of £4.5million.

His exit from Gloucester was confirmed by Cherry and Whites director of rugby George Skivington.

He said: “Lloyd’s been around the club for a long time, and I’ve always appreciated his commitment and willingness to turn out wherever necessary for the team.

“We’re well stacked at fly half and full back next season with Santi Carreras, Gareth Anscombe, Charlie Atkinson and George Barton all able to cover both positions.

"Naturally, it makes a lot of sense for Lloyd to move on and play regular rugby, at an exciting new environment for him. We wish him all the best for the future.”

MOVE: Lloyd Evans is signing for the Dragons from GloucesterMOVE: Lloyd Evans is signing for the Dragons from Gloucester (Image: PA)

Evans, who ended just shy of a century of appearances for the Kingsholm club, will link up with his new teammates to start preparations for the start of the United Rugby Championship on September 21.

The fly-half was born in Gloucester and, after being educated in Cheltenham, came through the ranks with the Cherry and Whites’ academy.

Evans, an England international at under-18s and 20s, made his club debut against Northampton in the 2013 Anglo-Welsh Cup, then his Premiership bow against Bath in May 2015.

Last season he made 14 appearances, including a start in the Premiership Cup final win against Leicester, but operated mainly at full-back.

SWITCH: Lloyd Evans has been signed by the Dragons to play fly-halfSWITCH: Lloyd Evans has been signed by the Dragons to play fly-half (Image: PA)

That will change in the coming campaign when he is tasked with pulling the strings along with Reed.

The Dragons, keen to cut costs, gambled by going with Reed as their sole specialist fly-half last season with 10/15s Angus O’Brien and Cai Evans as cover.

That backfired after O’Brien was able to make just four appearances because of two spells out with arm injuries, leading to captain and centre Steff Hughes having to occasionally act as fly-half cover.

The Dragons will have Lloyd Evans and Reed as their primary options at 10 in the coming season with O’Brien and Cai Evans able to cover, while Wales Under-20s international Harri Ford has returned to the club from RGC.

The 19-year-old, who is currently at the World Rugby U20 Championships, came through the academy before having a spell up north.

Ford is likely to rack up the minutes in Super Rygbi Cymru, which features the Gwent trio of Newport, Ebbw Vale and Pontypool.