DRAGONS great Nic Cudd believes all-action back rower Taine Basham has all the attributes to become a magnificent seven even though rivals will now have him on their watch list.

Cudd is leaving the region after eight seasons and 130 appearances at Rodney Parade.

The 31-year-old's committed approach to the game, putting his body on the line at the breakdown, made him a firm favourite with supporters.

READ MORE: No regrets as Cudd heads for the exit

They recently voted him in at openside in their ultimate Dragons XV ahead of Jason Forster, Colin Charvis, Jamie Ringer, Ollie Griffiths and Richard Parks.

Cudd believes Basham has the ability to follow in his footsteps in the 7 jersey after the 20-year-old from Talywain enjoyed a breakthrough season.

Free Press Series:

He scored eight tries in 17 games, including a hat-trick against Castres in the European Challenge Cup, and earned Wales call-ups for the November fixture against the Barbarians and the Six Nations.

Basham has played across the back row but the stalwart sees him as an openside, where he played when joining forces with Wales duo Aaron Wainwright and Ross Moriarty, after watching him at close quarters.

"When Bernard (Jackman) came in as coach I damaged my right knee and was out of action. He gave me the job of mentoring some of our younger back row players," said Cudd.

"He asked me to take a look at Aaron, Taine and Lennon (Greggains). I watched their matches, studied them on video and looked at them in training.

"They were all exceptional talents and I hope that I might have been able to give them a little bit of help along the way. What has happened is that the back row has become the most competitive area in the Dragons squad.

"Aaron went on to play for Wales at the World Cup in Japan last year, while Taine had a brilliant first senior season and got into the Welsh squad.

"I see Aaron as a No 6, along with Lennon, but I reckon Taine is going to develop into an outstanding No 7.

"His biggest challenge now will be building on last season. Teams will have plenty of video of him in action next season, will do their analysis on him and will be well aware of what he can do.

"He is a great ball carrier, good defensively and just needs to hone his contact skills at the breakdown to compete the package."

Greggains is back in the mix for the first team after recovering from ruptured knee ligaments suffered in a Celtic Cup clash at Connacht at the start of last season.

Fellow young gun Ben Fry, 21, will also push for action after featuring off the bench against Castres and Zebre last season and starting and scoring versus Enisei-STM in Russia.

Basham, Fry and Greggains will battle Wainwright, Ross Moriarty, Ollie Griffiths, Harri Keddie, Lewis Evans, James Benjamin and Max Williams for spots in the back row.