SCRUM-HALF Charlie Davies says it was a "no-brainer" to grasp a golden opportunity at Northampton after leaving the Dragons.

The 28-year-old Englishman spent three seasons at Rodney Parade after signing from Wasps in 2015.

A combative scrum-half with good game management, Davies made 54 appearances for the Dragons and was an influential and popular member of the squad.

The Welsh-qualified half-back memorably scored the winning try that upset Gloucester at Kingsholm in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup in 2016.

After head coach Bernard Jackman signed Wales international Rhodri Williams, Davies left at the end of 2017/18 and has landed a chance at the Saints.

The deal at Franklin's Gardens, where he will join Wales fly-half Dan Biggar, could mean a swift return to Newport as the clubs meet in pre-season on Friday, August 17 (kick-off 7.30pm).

"The decision to join a club like Northampton Saints was a no-brainer," said Davies, who will compete with Springbok Cobus Reinach and Alex Mitchell for the 9 jersey.

"The prospect of working with new director of rugby Chris Boyd, as well as the new coaching set-up, is an exciting one.

"Saints has a great set-up – the training facilities are top-notch and the stadium is superb. I remember from my time playing in the Premiership that Franklin's Gardens is formidable place to play, and I'm looking forward to having that support behind me next year.

"I'm excited about joining up with the squad when pre-season starts later this month, and giving a good account of myself so I can push for a regular start."

The Dragons' scrum-halves for the coming season are Williams, fellow new recruit Rhodri Davies, teenage prospect Dan Babos and Wales international Tavis Knoyle, who is back from injury.

South African number 9 Sarel Pretorius also left at the end of the season after earning a deal with PRO14 rivals Southern Kings.

The Dragons had a lengthy list of leavers at the end of the campaign with loosehead Phil Price and fly-half Angus O'Brien staying in professional rugby in Wales with the Scarlets.

Hooker Liam Belcher and full-back Carl Meyer have been linked with Cardiff Blues while five players will play semi-professional rugby in the Principality Premiership.

Lock Scott Andrews and loosehead Luke Garrett will play for Neath and Bargoed have snapped up hooker Rhys Buckley, loosehead Keagan Bale and centre Barney Nightingale.

Fly-half Dorian Jones ended his contract early to move to France with Soyaux Angoulême while South African centre/wing Pat Howard has signed for English Championship promotion hopefuls Ealing Trailfinders.

Props Sam Hobbs and Thomas Davies, lock Ashley Sweet, back row forward Robson Blake, centre Sam Beard and wing Lloyd Lewis were also released with their destinations yet to be announced.