BERNARD Jackman has shaken up his Dragons management team with former Wales and Lions lock Ian Evans arriving to help with the pack.

The head coach had a busy recruitment drive with 14 new players added to his roster for 2018/19 and the former Ireland hooker has also reshaped his backroom staff.

The headline arrival is likely to be Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards as a consultant while another appointment will be made with responsibilities for the backs following the departure of Shaun Connor at the end of last season.

Ex-hooker Rhys Thomas has exited, with the former Cardiff Blues captain expected to return to the capital, while Bevan, formerly of England Cricket, has left his role as head of elite performance.

The first batch of new faces sees Evans join to work alongside forwards coach Ceri Jones with specific responsibility for lineouts and restarts.

The 33-times capped lock, who toured Australia with the Lions in 2013, cut his coaching teeth with Treorchy after being forced to retire through injury and joined Cross Keys last season.

Evans, 33, will also help academy boss James Chapron with the Dragons’ development side for the new Under-23 competition.

Simon Norris arrives from Exeter Chiefs as head of performance analysis while long-term strength and conditioning coach Ryan Harris is now the senior member of that department after Bevan’s departure.

He will be assisted by a pair of new arrivals – Australian Michael Symes joins from the Western Force while Jack Phelan helped New Zealand win the Women’s World Cup last year and also has Waikato Chiefs and the Bay of Plenty on his CV.

Doug Crichton, who has worked with British Cycling and Melbourne Rebels, joins as full-time nutritionist.

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(New coaches: Doug Crichton, Jack Phelan, Ian Evans, Michael Symes, Simon Norris)

"Through an aggressive and ambitious staff recruitment process, matching our player recruitment drive, we have added more skills and expertise to our coaching team to be able to drive forwards our team performances on the field,” said Jackman.

“There’s been much said of our new playing recruits with 14 new signings, but preparing our players properly will ensure we can perform to our potential.

“We have been under-resourced in terms of support staff for a long time and its vital that we provide this generation of players and future generations the support that will help them maximise their talent.”

The Dragons returned for a first batch of training last Wednesday, minus their international contingent.

“Being back in pre-season early gives us a chance to rehabilitate some of the injuries that we suffered last season, but also develop our power and robustness to reduce our injury risk going forward,” said Jackman.

“Whilst we have said farewell to both Huw and ‘TRT’, and we thank them for their hard work during their time with Dragons, we’re delighted to welcome these new recruits to the backroom staff ahead of the new season.”