DRAGONS backs Dan Babos and Carwyn Penny will test themselves in New Zealand club rugby this summer in order to boost their first team chances next season, writes Chris Kirwan.

Scrum-half Babos and full-back Penny, both 20, have signed for Te Awamutu Sports for a two-month spell in Waikato Premier Club Rugby.

The pair of Wales Under-20s internationals follow in the footsteps of tighthead Dan Suter, centre Tom Hoppe and lock Henri Williams, who experienced New Zealand's domestic game last summer.

Babos, from Cwmbran, enjoyed a remarkable breakthrough in 2017/18 – becoming the first player born this millennium to start a PRO14 game in the November – but did not feature last season.

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Newport's Penny, who was previously on the books of Gloucester and has also played fly-half, is yet to make his senior bow. He started in the friendly wins against Hong Kong and Russia and turned out for Cross Keys and Bargoed in the Premiership.

Dragons general manager James Chapron believes the spell in Waikato will develop the two prospects both on and off the field.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for Dan and Carwyn to go away and work on their game and also experience a different environment and culture in New Zealand," he said.

"We've sent players across before and know the benefits they get from time in club rugby, developing their game and mindset.

"We will be monitoring their progress closely and our thanks go to Steve Hale and his rugby recruitment business in New Zealand for making this opportunity possible."

Both players have impressed in the opening weeks of the link-up, with Penny winning the man-of-the-match award in his first game against Hautapu.

"It's been easy to settle in and I'm living with the captain from the club so he has taken me under his wing," said Penny.

"The club has been really welcoming and sorted everything we needed to make it an easy switch.

"The rugby has been tough so far as the game is a lot different to back home. The speed of the matches is faster and it's good to experience the type of rugby they play over here."