The Dragons have confirmed the signing of Wales second row Will Rowlands from Wasps in a major coup for the region.

Six Nations squad member Rowlands has been heavily linked with the Gwent outfit for a number of months.

Now they have finally got their man, with the 29-year-old to join them on a long-term contract this summer.

It means he will be able to continue his international career.

With his Wasps contract expiring at the end of this season, the five-cap lock had to head for Wales to remain eligible under the WRU 60-cap rule.

And it’s the Union-owned Dragons he has chosen as his destination.

“I’m very excited by the move,” he said.

“It’s a new chapter for me, having only played my rugby at one club, so I’m looking forward to some new experiences and challenging myself in a new environment.

“It’s a young group at Dragons with some real potential that has already made good strides forward under Dean Ryan and the rest of the coaches.

“I’m looking to playing my part and contributing from next season, so we can improve as a team and as a group of players.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone at Wasps for giving me the opportunities and helping me develop over the last seven years at the club.

“Wasps will always have a special place in my heart, and I will certainly be giving everything to the jersey to try and finish the season strongly.”

Giving his thoughts, Director of Rugby Ryan said: “Will is a proven force who has produced consistent and impressive performances for Wasps in the English Premiership over a number of years.

“He’s an athletic and powerful second row who has also shown his ability be making the step up to international level with Wales over the last 12 months.

“We wanted to strengthen our front five and increase our options so we’re delighted to be able to bring Will to Wales and look forward to him making a big impression at Dragons.”

Born in Hammersmith, Rowlands attended Rugby School and studied business, administration and management at Warwick University before going on to Pembroke College Oxford, where he gained a BA degree in Economics and Management.

During his time at Oxford University, he played in the varsity matches of 2012 and 2013 against Cambridge University and was also a part-time member of the Wasps Academy.

He made his debut for the Premiership club under the coaching of Dai Young in 2012 and has gone on to make just under a century of appearances for them.

Eligible for Wales through his Gwent-born father Jeremy, he was called up to Wayne Pivac’s squad for the 2020 Six Nations 12 months ago.

He won his first cap as a replacement against France last February and made four appearances during the autumn campaign, including starts versus Scotland, Ireland and Italy.

Having been named in Pivac’s squad for the 2021 Championship campaign, the 6ft 8ins second row is very much in the mix to play a part in Wales’ opening game against Ireland on Sunday, February 7.

He follows the likes of Ospreys-bound Tomas Francis, Josh Adams, Ross Moriarty and Rhys Webb in signing for a Welsh region to prolong his international career, providing further proof that the 60-cap rule is working.