DYNAMIC Wales back row forward Aaron Wainwright has signed a new three-year deal with the Dragons.

The 23-year-old from Bassaleg has followed Test teammate Elliot Dee in agreeing fresh terms to stay at Rodney Parade.

Wainwright, who started in the Six Nations win against Scotland, has made 55 Dragons appearances since bursting on the scene in 2017.

The forward’s exploits in both club and international rugby led to him being linked with Cardiff Blues in the autumn but he has signed a new deal through to at least 2024.

Wainwright was denied a first taste of Champions Cup rugby by a coronavirus outbreak in December but is confident that the Dragons can climb the table in coming seasons to get back to Europe's top tier.

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"I’m really happy to re-sign," said Wainwright, who is comfortable across the back row. "I’m enjoying creating a good environment with the boys here and excited to carry on playing a strong brand of rugby.

"Dean [Ryan, director of rugby] is definitely guiding us in the right direction and I want to be a big part of what he’s doing here.

"Champions Cup rugby and the prospect of pushing higher in the league really excites me and I believe we can do well in both competitions.

"We’ve signed some quality players this past season and I’m looking forward to now taking to the field with them.

"It’s been nearly a year without a crowd at Rodney Parade and there’s not many things I’m looking forward to more than running out into a packed stadium and hearing the fans in the stands.

"The deserve some good results and hopefully I can help the team provide some."

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Wainwright can play across the back row and his exploits at Rodney Parade quickly caught the eye of then Wales boss Warren Gatland.

He made his international debut against Argentina in 2018, was an ever-present in the 2019 Grand Slam and then starred at the World Cup.

Wainwright missed out on selection for the Triple Crown-sealing win against England last weekend but the 28-times capped forward will continue his push for a place in the hotly-contested back row as a Dragon.

Director of rugby Dean Ryan said: "We’re pleased Aaron has signed a long-term deal, as we continue to retain our best homegrown talent.

"Aaron wants to bring success to his region and we’re delighted that he also sees us as the ideal platform to achieve further international honours."

Wainwright follows fellow Wales internationals Dee, Ollie Griffiths and Sam Davies in signing fresh terms with the Dragons while Will Rowlands will arrive next season from Wasps.

Bright prospects Ben Carter and Aneurin Owen have also agreed long-term deals.