THE Dragons are in advanced talks to sign Wales and Lions powerhouse centre Jamie Roberts after the collapse of the move for Joe Tomane.

The 33-year-old, who born in Newport and briefly raised in Allt-yr-ynn before moving to Cardiff, has been in discussions with director of rugby Dean Ryan about making a return to Welsh rugby.

The Argus understands that negotiations have got as far as the finances of the move as Roberts is highly interested, although there could yet be other late options on the table.

The Dragons had planned to bring in Tomane, who won all 17 of his caps on the wing for Australia, to play outside playmaker Sam Davies.

However, the move stalled because of the 30-year-old's personal situation after the coronavirus crisis.

That has opened the door for a move for Roberts, who would be an older head to help in the development of the Dragons'  young backs.

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The experienced centre came through the ranks at Cardiff Blues but left in 2013 for Racing 92 in France and has since played in England for Harlequins and Bath and most recently for the Stormers in South Africa.

He is still considering his options but a move to the Dragons could give the veteran a chance of bringing up a century of international appearances, with Wales boss Wayne Pivac now without Hadleigh Parkes and Owen Williams.

Roberts, who won three caps for the British and Irish Lions and was man of the series against South Africa in 2009, made his 94th outing for Wales in November, 2017.

Pivac rang the veteran to let him know that he wouldn't be in the Six Nations squad earlier this year.

"Wayne called me and we had a good chat where he told me where he was at and I have huge respect for him," said Roberts in January.

"I still harness ambitions to play Test rugby and feel I'm good enough. I'm ready to go, I've played quite a bit of rugby this year with Bath."

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If he opts to sign for the Dragons then he would join forces with Wales centre Nick Tompkins, who has signed on a year-long loan from Saracens.

The other midfield options are Jack Dixon, Adam Warren, Connor Edwards and bright prospect Aneurin Owen.

Roberts told the Rugby Paper in March that he would like to end his career in the capital, and that he "would stuggle to play for another region", but the Blues already have Willis Halaholo and talented Ben Thomas as options.

“I told myself as soon as I left Cardiff I’d want to play there again before I finish my career,” he said. “I want to give back to Welsh rugby as a player or even after I’ve retired.

“The Blues gave me so much not just as a player, but as a person. They allowed me to play for Wales. I’d love to take them back to where they deserve to be, because they aren’t there.

“They are a capital city side, but they aren’t at the top table at the moment. They are a club who should be. Having been there I’d like to see them there again and help them as a player.

“If the opportunity to do that is there then I’d love to explore that. I’d struggle to play for another Welsh region.”

Ryan has also brought in Wales wing/full-back Jonah Holmes on a permanent contract from Leicester along with Welsh-qualified lock Joe Maksymiw, who has arrived from Connacht.