NICK Tompkins' loan spell with the Dragons has come to an early end after the Wales centre was recalled by Saracens in a bid to avoid a costly failure in their promotion bid.

The 26-year-old moved to Rodney Parade in August to boost his Test chances after Sarries' relegation from the English Premiership.

However, his parent club endured an opening weekend shock at Cornish Pirates in the Championship and want to take no risks in their bid for a swift return to the top flight.

While it has been officially stated that the loan spell is over after the conclusion of the Guinness PRO14 and European campaigns, the agreement had been for him to stay until the summer.

Tompkins has already returned to Saracens after the Dragons blew a lead against Northampton in the Challenge Cup that means they aren't in the quarter-finals this weekend.

Nick Tompkins of Dragons charges forward against Wasps

Nick Tompkins of Dragons charges forward against Wasps

"It was brilliant to come into a new environment and see a new culture and make new friends," he said. "I've been really impressed by the aspirations at Dragons and the desire to get better.

"What is being built is really impressive and is something you can really get behind – it's impressed me from day one.

"The group of boys at the region is young, humble and have a great work ethic. They want to impress and work so hard.

"There is an exciting future at Dragons and I truly wish the region every success for the future."

Tompkins won honours alongside the likes of Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell, Jamie George, Brad Barritt and the Vunipolas and believes the brief move to Rodney Parade brought him out of his shell.

Nick Tompkins is tackled on the attack for the Dragons against Edinburgh

Nick Tompkins is tackled on the attack for the Dragons against Edinburgh

"On a personal level, stepping into a leadership role has been good for me and players have looked to me for answers," he said.

"It's been interesting to see how I've stepped into that role and I've enjoyed it.

"That has been the biggest person growth for me and the way I have matured.

"You always try and improve your game and your skills, that is a given. but the invaluable part for me has been the leadership role."

The centre was named on the bench against Northampton after director of rugby Dean Ryan chose to reward the form of bright prospect Aneurin Owen, who started next to Jamie Roberts in midfield.

Tompkins came on in the first half as a winger after Ashton Hewitt suffered a knee injury when scoring his second try.

The Sarries centre made 14 appearances at Rodney Parade, nine of them starts, and scored a try in the Champions Cup defeat to Bordeaux-Begles.

The move helped him make six Test outings this season, taking his total of caps to 10, but he ended the Six Nations behind Jonathan Davies, George North and Willis Halaholo in the pecking order.

Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan insisted the Sarries star made an impact in his brief spell in Newport.

Nick Tompkins of Dragons takes on Ben Earl of Bristol.

Nick Tompkins of Dragons takes on Ben Earl of Bristol.

"Nick has been fantastic during his time his with us, combining playing for both Dragons and Wales," he said.

"In unusual times, Nick has made a big impression on us all and also benefitted from challenging himself in a new competition and environment. He leaves with our very best wishes for the future.

"Our thanks also go to Saracens for fully supporting Nick's loan move to us over the last year."

Tompkins could go up against Dragons centre Connor Edwards a week on Sunday as the 23-year-old from Croesyceiliog, who is out of contract this summer, is on loan at Doncaster.

The Dragons start their Rainbow Cup campaign against the Scarlets on the weekend of April 23 with Roberts, Owen and Jack Dixon their midfield options, while stalwart Adam Warren and Tom Griffiths are on the comeback trail from groin and knee injuries respectively.