THERE would have been a sizeable sigh of relief from the boss' office in Ystrad Mynach at 11am on Tuesday morning.

No doubt Bernard Jackman had a pretty good idea which of his Dragons squad were going to be called up by Wales, after all his links with Warren Gatland helped get him the gig at Rodney Parade, but it still would have been a relief to see the names there in black and white.

Elliot Dee, Leon Brown, Cory Hill, Tyler Morgan, Hallam Amos.

A five-strong contingent to go with 31 others, the healthiest Dragons group for some time and there could be few arguments about their inclusions. This was no charity selection influenced by the Welsh Rugby Union now pulling the strings in the east.

Dee has had a barnstorming start to the season, as has Brown even if, with just 10 senior appearances to his name, he is a little greener than his front row colleague.

Hill has proved over the past year that he won't let anybody down on the Test stage, Amos is a class act who is back in the mix after being injured against the Wallabies last autumn while Morgan is starting to show the sort of attacking form that got us so excited back in 2014.

Granted, with each of the selections you could argue the case for someone else – Ryan Elias, Dillon Lewis, Luke Charteris, Tom James, Scott Williams, for example – but that is the nature of international rugby and none of the Dragons prompted tea to be spat out quite like the left field call-up for Sam Cross.

It was nearly even better, five would have been six were it not for once-capped flanker Ollie Griffiths' injury misfortune and it's about time that the eastern region pulled its weight.

At times it's been a tad embarrassing to have meagre Dragons representation with the local angle provided by Bath's Taulupe Faletau of Pontypool or former captains Charteris and Dan Lydiate.

To have some genuine interest in the Test squad is a boon for the whole organisation and the timing is perfect for Jackman.

When the David Buttress was announcing his new Dragons board last week the chairman was asked about upcoming recruitment. He was reluctant to talk individuals such as Ross Moriarty or Faletau but spoke positively about the region being an attractive, upwardly mobile destination.

Buttress said: "In Bernard we've got a top-class coach and if you are a top-class international surely you want to be coached by a leading coach?

"The second thing I'd say is that we've got a fantastic group of young players. If you want to come and join a talented group with big ambitions, then that's a great thing to be part of."

Yes, but potential doesn't get quality players to sign on the dotted line, the presence of Test teammates does.

That's why the ascent of Hill, who this time last year was uncapped and joining the autumn squad as injury cover, has been so welcome.

That's why Amos, young at 23 but enjoying his seventh season of regional rugby, is such a beacon in the backs.

That's why Dee and Brown need to graft hard at the Vale of Glamorgan to convince the Wales management that strong starts to the season deserve a cap or four this autumn.

When the Dragons quintet return to Ystrad Mynach in December they need to be the inspiration for Jack Dixon, Ashton Hewitt, Harri Keddie (another who may have got the call were it not for injury?), perhaps even Brok Harris.

In time it has to be Max Williams, Jared Rosser, George Gasson, Arwel Robson, Dan Babos, Lennon Greggains that are being driven to join the international contingent.

But for Year Two of the Jackman Project there needs to be an influx of quality. For all the talk of the Dragons environment being much-improved and that it's now a more professional, driven place, recruitment will be key in the short term.

It will still take a lot of charm, or a heftier pay packet, to convince potential seasoned recruits that Rodney Parade is the place to be.

Rugby can be a short career and players want good remuneration and to challenge for silverware; while the idea of being part of a project has its appeal, players have to think in terms of 2018 to 2020 when choosing their next contract.

If it is to be the Dragons then Jackman has to have some quality names as teammates to throw at the prospective signings; Dee, Brown, Hill, Morgan and Amos help on that front.

Part of the new regime's quest is to tap into the local talent and four of the five Wales squad members are from Gwent – Newbridge, Maesglas, Caerleon and Cross Ash with Pontypridd's Hill the exception.

But the Dragons cannot afford to be like Tubbs and Edward from the League of Gentleman, with a mistrust of outsiders and keeping things local.

They need some quality imports, be they Welsh or otherwise, and the presence of Test players in the squad can only help to secure them.

"That's the Dragons question, is it?!" chuckled Gatland when he received the traditional question from yours truly searching for an Argus line at Tuesday's press conference.

Yes, Warren, it was and fingers crossed there will be plenty more flung your way in the coming weeks and months leading up to the World Cup.