FORMER Dragons boss Paul Turner has given the signing of Sam Davies his seal of approval, declaring that the fly-half is in the prime of his career and just the man to run the ship at Rodney Parade.

The Wales playmaker has signed a two-year deal to head east to the Dragons from the Ospreys next season.

The region have long hunted a fly-half to pull the strings and Turner, a former 10 with Wales, Newbridge, Newport, Bedford and Sale, believes Davies ticks all the boxes.

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"Sam is a really good player and something that the Dragons have needed," said the 59-year-old, who was in charge at Rodney Parade between 2005 and 2011.

"He is probably in the prime of his career, so he isn't an old, experienced head but a young, experienced head.

"It's good that he has been kept in Wales, because there is no doubt that he would have been marketable over the bridge, and it's a really good and important signing by the Dragons.

"He might have lost his way a bit at the Ospreys but has all the ingredients to be a superb fly-half.

"He is a proven goal-kicker and has a good kicking game (out of hand) – he is a player who knows where the ball in going when he kicks it, because plenty don't!

"Sam has an eye for seeing things early so can put pressure on the opposition, while he also has a good running game."

Free Press Series: NEW BOY: Sam DaviesNEW BOY: Sam Davies

Turner was prolific with the boot – he was inducted into Newport's hall of fame in 2017 thanks to amassing 1,145 points for the club between 1985 and 1992 – but he was also tactically astute.

He believes Davies and his first-choice half-back partner have the ability to get the Dragons on the front foot.

"The Dragons have quality at 9 in Rhodri Williams, so to bag a quality fly-half is a massive boost," said Turner.

"They can run the game and move the Dragons around the field, which is something that has been missing.

"The middle third of the pitch is where games are won and lost – if you can't control that area then you will lose. Look at Saracens and Exeter, they have control there and if they kick then it is for a reason.

"The game has changed but the fulcrum of the side is still 9 and 10, if you haven't got that then there is a disconnect."

Turner has coached at the Dragons, Sale, Bedford, Gloucester, Saracens, Harlequins and Wasps, and is braced for another big campaign in 2019/20.

He has helped Ampthill enjoy a remarkable rise that will see the Bedfordshire side playing in the English Championship thanks to their fifth promotion in 12 years.

"There are similarities with Newbridge," he said. "We have taken a village club up four leagues and will be playing Newcastle, who've probably got a budget of £8-9million whereas we are £600,000.

"I had a few sleepless nights at the end of the season and a few more as we assemble a squad!

"I am so proud of what we have done and there are exciting times ahead with plans to develop a new stadium."