CONNOR Edwards is eyeing a return to the Dragons midfield after a lost season.

The 22-year-old from Croesyceiliog made an impression with his direct running and strong defence when he broke through in 2017/18.

He made his regional debut off the bench against the Scarlets in the Anglo-Welsh Cup and went on to make 10 appearances for Bernard Jackman's side.

But injuries struck just as Edwards was trying to push on at Rodney Parade with a broken cheekbone then a torn ACL meaning he failed to make a single outing last season.

Nonetheless, the centre has signed a one-year contract extension and is determined to force his way back into the Dragons XV under new boss Dean Ryan.

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"It's been quite a tough pre-season so far but I'm loving every minute," said Edwards, who will battle Jack Dixon, Adam Warren and Tom Griffiths for the 12 jersey.

"Obviously with my injury I've been out for about five months, so now it's about getting fit again, getting ready and really put my name down for that starting jersey come the first game of the season.

"I was a bit unfortunate with injuries last year. I broke my cheekbone and then tore my ACL which was a bit disappointing.

"I had a bit of game time with Hartpury (in the English Championship) towards the end of the season which was a good learning experience.

"After the previous season where I played a few senior games, it was incredibly frustrating. Now I'm just looking to turn that around and get some game time."

Edwards was re-signed for another year with Jarryd Sage, who made 17 appearances last season, failing to get fresh terms.

The Wales Under-20s international wants to show his gratitude by giving Ryan a selection headache.

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"Getting the new deal was a huge boost after the season of injuries," said Edwards, who is a popular figure at Bedwas thanks to his exploits in the Premiership.

"It's a good show of support from the Dragons, to put that sort of trust in me to go out and perform. I need to repay that by putting in good performances on the pitch."

"I'm enjoying the competition in midfield. Players like Tyler, Adam and Jack have really helped me every time in training.

"Dixon's training really well at the moment and Wazza's always there to talk to me and help me out through lots of stuff. Tyler is training really well and he's looking back to his best as well.

"Competition is only good and is going to make us all better in the long run."

Edwards acknowledges that he is currently down the pecking order but hopes to stake a claim for the PRO14 by impressing Ryan in the Celtic Cup.

"The Celtic Cup is a big competition for me. It's a step up again from Welsh Premiership, it's another leap from that," he said.

"It's a good stepping stone, the boys just go out there and express themselves, so hopefully I'll get a bit of game time there and impress and then push on with the senior team."

The Dragons start their Celtic Cup campaign against Connacht Eagles in Galway tomorrow (kick-off 2pm).

Coach Luke Narraway names his side this morning with Edwards among a handful of experienced campaigners.