RICHARD Hibbard says it will be the "foot soldiers" that decide the Dragons' targets in the coming campaign.

The Wales and Lions hooker is one of 14 new recruits that the Rodney Parade region have signed for the coming campaign.

The new-look Dragons will be expected to improve dramatically on a nightmare 2017/18 in which they recorded just two wins in the Guinness PRO14, both in September.

With Hibbard and fellow Wales internationals Ross Moriarty, Aaron Jarvis, Rhodri Williams, Ryan Bevington and Dafydd Howells joining, along with Samoa lock Brandon Nansen, the Dragons supporters will be demanding more cheer.

Head coach Bernard Jackman also knows that he is under pressure to show signs of improvement in year two of his reign but Hibbard says it will be the players that set the goals.

"Targets are one thing that the boys have to decide," said the 34-year-old, who has not yet linked up with his new teammates in pre-season because Gloucester's 2017/18 campaign went on longer than the Dragons'.

"Bernard can have an idea in his head but when all the boys eventually meet up, it's where we want to take it.

"We are the foot soldiers at the front, we've got to do it and deliver it. We will know where we need to be and what we need to bring."

Hibbard will be aiming to wrestle the 2 jersey from the Dragons' player of the year Elliot Dee.

The 24-year-old from Newbridge enjoyed a superb season that still hasn't ended thanks to his displays earning a place in the Wales front row.

"I thought that he had a fantastic season [for the Dragons] and he has gone really well for Wales," said Hibbard.

"Whenever you are playing well, you have competition. You can never be content or happy, you want someone pushing you.

"If they are knocking on the door then you have to play better. It's important to have competition and I am looking forward to competing with Elliot.

"His work rate is second to none. In the games I watched of the Dragons he was the hardest worker on the pitch.

"Elliot has got bags of potential and will turn into a fine player. He is a young, hungry lion with years ahead of him.

"The season he had last year was fantastic and he was getting better every week – he probably didn't want the season to finish."

Hibbard will offer Dee some pearls of wisdom, if asked, while he will also be one of the leading figures in the development of academy products.

The Dragons gave a raft of young talent a brief taste of professional rugby last season and the 2013 Lion will be an influential figure at the Ystrad Mynach training base.

"You can't be selfish, I will have experienced things that the boys haven't. A lot had debuts last year so won't have been in certain situations and how to deal with certain things," he said.

"It's really important to share experiences and where you went wrong, explaining to not do what I did! Stuff like that comes naturally, it's not something that you have to try to do."