Aaron Wainwright has handed Welsh rugby a serious pre-Six Nations enhance by agreeing a brand new contract with the Dragons.
The Wales back-row ahead, who seems set to line up at quantity eight in subsequent week’s Six Nations conflict towards Scotland, has agreed what the Dragons described as “a multi-year” deal.
The 26-year-old would undoubtedly have courted appreciable curiosity elsewhere, given his Test expertise of 43 caps and excellent shows through the Rugby World Cup in France.
“Lots of positive conversations have gone on between Dai (Dragons head coach Dai Flanagan), myself and the club,” Wainwright mentioned.
“I am looking forward to the next few years. I love the Dragons, I am a home boy.
“I love turning up to Rodney Parade, seeing fans out on the terraces, and that’s what I want to keep doing, turning up on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday and playing well, trying to make them happy.
“I am happy to have re-signed and I am excited to see what the next few years have to hold.”
Wainwright made his Wales debut in 2018 and he has developed right into a participant whose consistency of efficiency is a useful commodity for head coach Warren Gatland.
Only six gamers – and simply two forwards – have extra caps than him in Wales’ 34-strong Six Nations squad, and he’s comfortably the senior back-row determine.
With Taulupe Faletau sidelined for the entire Six Nations, together with flanker and co-captain Jac Morgan, by way of harm, Wainwright will head up Gatland’s back-row sources.
A transfer from blindside flanker could be anticipated, until Gatland arms uncapped Cardiff quantity eight Mackenzie Martin a possibility and leaves Wainwright within the quantity six shirt.
“It is a fairly young group at the moment. It is definitely exciting, and it is about how we build on that,” Wainwright added.
“When I came in for my first campaign, some of the back rows in the squad – Tips (Justin Tipuric), Lyds (Dan Lydiate), Taulupe (Faletau) – it’s trying to be a figure to them like those boys were to me. I am just trying to be the best role model for them.
“I am not always the loudest of talkers. I hope to do it through my actions.
“We have been pushing each other in training, and everyone has fitted in well really quickly. We’ve only had three days of training, but information is being taken on really quickly.”
Scotland haven’t crushed Wales in Cardiff since 2002 – present head coach Gregor Townsend was their fly-half that day – dropping 11 successive Tests within the Welsh capital.
But they’ve been strongly backed to finish that sequence, significantly given Wales’ inexperience and the absence of gamers like Faletau, Morgan, Louis Rees-Zammit, Liam Williams and Dan Biggar.
The squad’s cap whole is 735, however 438 of these appearances have been made by simply seven gamers – Wainwright, Josh Adams, George North, Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams, Elliot Dee and Adam Beard.