International fly-half 'in Dragons' mix' - coach Jones

Ben Botica in action for Montpellier
Ben Botica's father, Frano, played seven Tests for the All Blacks

Newport Gwent Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones says they are in talks with three fly-halves, including a capped international.

Dragons chief executive Stuart Davies has said Kiwi outside-half Ben Botica is among them, but admit it is "difficult" to attract players.

Jones said: "There's two or three there that have come up.

"An international fly-half of about 29 years old has come up who's thrown into the mix.

The son of former All Black Frano Botica is currently playing on loan at Oyannax from Top 14 club Montpellier in France.

"It's not really right to talk because Ben is in contract at Montpellier," said Jones.

Dragons chief executive Stuart Davies has said the lack of investment in the ground made recruitment challenging.

"We are looking at a couple of key positions and Ben is one of those players on our radar," Davies said earlier in April.

Botica, 27, played for New Zealand Schools before heading to Europe where he has had spells with Biarritz, Perigueux and Harlequins, where he scored 551 points in 95 appearances.

He is currently playing for Oyonnax on loan from Top 14 club Montpellier.

His brother Jacob already plays in Wales for Premiership side and National Cup finalists RGC 1404, while their father - New Zealand international Frano - played for Llanelli between 1996 and 1998.

Ex-Ospreys, Wales and British Lions lock Ian Evans is among other players to speak with head coach Kingsley Jones.

Davies has insisted recruitment continues at the Dragons, following the signings of former Wales and Lions centre Gavin Henson and ex-Springboks wing Zane Kirchner.

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Dragons takeover: Stuart Davies warns of dangers facing rugby in Newport

But he admitted attracting players was "difficult" amid the uncertainty over the future of the region.

Shareholders of Newport RFC will vote on 9 May whether to back a proposed £3.75m sale of Rodney Parade to the Welsh Rugby Union paving the way for a full takeover of the region.

"We've been twin-tracking our recruitment and attention with all that's going on," said Davies.

"Kingsley is trying to attract players to the Dragons at a time when the pitch is under water, the stadium is looking tired, the facilities are not great, our reputation is not where we want it to be and the perception is not favourable.

"So there has to be a degree of understanding of how difficult it is and has been to attract players to the Dragons.

"That's why the proposals on the table fill me with excitement."

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