HEAD coach Bernard Jackman has described Harri Keddie’s decision to sign a new Dragons deal as a huge boost for the Rodney Parade region.

Back-row starlet Keddie, 21, put pen to paper on a fresh contract that will keep him with the Men of Gwent for the next three seasons.

Keddie joins Joe Davies, Jack Dixon and James Benjamin as well as Welsh internationals Leon Brown, Elliot Dee, Ollie Griffiths and Cory Hill in extending his stay at the Dragons.

The versatile forward made his Dragons debut against Zebre in 2016 and has gone on to play 25 times in all.

“Harrison was one of our standout performers in the early part of the season until he unfortunately picked up his shoulder injury,” said Jackman.

“He has been incredibly diligent with his rehab and he will come back available for selection over the coming weeks.

“For him to commit to us for at least the next three seasons is a huge boost for the region.”

Jackman has also secured the signatures of Ross Moriarty, Richard Hibbard, Rhodri Williams, Jordan Williams, Rhodri Davies and Huw Taylor for next season.

Keddie, from Llanvaches, added: “Growing up, I had always wanted to play for the Dragons as it is my home region, so it means a lot to me to have been given the opportunity to stay here for the next three years as I feel the club is going in the right direction both on and off the field.

“I have enjoyed my time here so far under Bernard and to be given this opportunity is a great privilege to me and I look forward to doing so for the next few years.

“It is really exciting times at the Dragons and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Prior to making his Dragons debut, Keddie was included in the region’s squad for the 2015 Premiership Singha Sevens.

He made a huge impact during the tournament and helped his side clinch the title, scoring the winning try in the final against Wasps.

The Dragons academy product shone with Wales U20s and impressed spectators with his ball carrying skills during the Grand Slam campaign of 2016.

Additionally, Keddie has made appearances for Principality Premiership side Ebbw Vale, performing superbly in Steelmen colours as they beat Pontypridd in the Grand Final two years ago.

His 2017-18 season hit the buffers when he suffered a shoulder injury during the Guinness PRO14 victory over Connacht in September.

“Once I am back fit I hope to earn my place in the team again, play some good rugby and being part of a successful Dragons team,” he said.

After signing his new contract, Keddie picked out Caerleon RFC to receive a cash donation through the Dragons Pathway Recognition Award scheme.

This scheme seeks to recognise the club or school that played a vital role in the player’s development to become a professional.

Before Christmas, prop Leon Brown presented a £500 cheque to St Joseph’s RC High School.