Williams joins the Dragons
TRANSFER NEWS: Head coach Bernard Jackman has confirmed Jordan Williams will become the latest player to return to Wales to join the Dragons ahead of the 2018/19 campaign on a two-year contract.
The versatile Williams – who can play at fullback, wing or flyhalf - was selected for the Wales 2014 tour to South Africa as well as previously playing in the Wales under-20s team that finished runners up in the 2013 Junior World Championship.
After making 55 appearances for the Scarlets, scoring 81 points Williams crossed the Severn Bridge to join Bristol and has made 20 appearances, scoring nine tries for the South West club in the last season and a half.
"We're delighted to bring Jordan back to Welsh rugby and to the Dragons – he's an exciting young full back with all the attacking attributes to get people on their feet," Jackman said.
"Jordan is a talented young player, he's a quick elusive runner and is dangerous in broken play.
"At 24, he is still a young man with time to further develop his skills, but we’re confident he will be an exciting addition to our back division who will thrive in the brand of rugby we’re developing at the Dragons."
Williams added: "I'm excited to be joining the Dragons next season. I’ve enjoyed my time at Bristol but it's time for a new challenge and I’m looking forward to playing in Wales again and working with Bernard.
"The Dragons have lots of talented young Welsh players and as a player you get a sense that something exciting is building there so I can't wait to get started next season."
Meanwhile, the Dragons confirmed that flank Ollie Griffiths has committed his future to the region.
Griffiths is set to lead out the Men of Gwent against Enisei-STM in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and make his 50th appearance for the Dragons. The 22-year-old admits that playing alongside a talented group of young Welsh players who are also his friends will only spur him on to progress further.
"I enjoy going to work every day," said Griffiths, "the culture within the group is great and it's the best feeling to play alongside your best mates, having grown up with them and played throughout the age grades."
He continued: "I am very passionate about playing for my home Region having grown up in Gwent and have seen vast improvements since the takeover.
"I feel that the Dragons is the best place for me to progress in my rugby career and the support we have from coaches, medical team, analysts and the Welsh Rugby Union is great and is only going to help me progress further."
Prior to his time with the Dragons, flank Griffiths was named Newport RFC Captain for their 2014/15 campaign and is currently their youngest skipper in history. Newbridge born, he made over 30 appearances for the Black and Ambers resulting in a call up into the Wales U20s squad. The youngster went on to Captain the Wales U20s squad against Scotland U20s in their Six Nations campaign and was named in the 2015 World Rugby U20s Championship Squad.
Following this Griffiths earned his first professional contract with the Dragons and most recently was named in the 2016 Wales Summer Tour squad of Tonga and Samoa and won his first cap for Wales against Tonga.
Looking back at his four seasons with the Dragons, Griffiths commented: "We have great support. All the players and staff are working hard to ensure the Dragons are as competitive as possible, and moving forward to becoming the top Welsh region.
"I believe the future is positive for the Dragons with everything in place in order to allow us to achieve our goals.
Everyone involved are extremely ambitious and committed to working hard to become a very successful Region."
Commenting on the news head Coach Jackman said: "Ollie Griffiths is one of the brightest back row talents in Wales. He won his first senior cap in June and I expect him to gain many more in the future.
"He is a leader on and off the field in our group and we are over the moon that he has signed a long-term deal to stay in his region."
Griffiths is the latest player to extend his stay with the Region joining Welsh Internationals Elliot Dee and Leon Brown, as well as youngsters Jack Dixon and Joe Davies. These five put pen to paper as well as the announcement of newcomers British and Irish Lion Ross Moriarty and scrumhalf Rhodri Williams.