Newport Gwent Dragons sign Wales' Lee Byrne and Aled Brew

Clermont full-back Lee Byrne
Clermont full-back Lee Byrne

Wales backs Lee Byrne and Aled Brew have agreed to join Newport Gwent Dragons next summer.

Clermont Auvergne full-back Byrne, 33, a 2009 British and Irish Lion, has signed a two-year contract.

Wing Brew, 27, is also currently playing in France with Biarritz and has agreed a three-year deal.

"I am excited to be returning to Wales to play again. I hope to bring my experiences from France back to the Dragons," Byrne said.

"It's no secret that the best fans in Wales are at Rodney Parade and it will be a nice change to have them cheer for me and not jeer for me!"

Brew returns to Rodney Parade after a two-year stint at Biarritz. The winger has had two previous spells with Dragons, where he scored 43 tries and made 108 appearances for them before moving to France.

"I've really enjoyed my time in France and would like to think I've learned a lot during my time in Biarritz and that I've become a better player because of it," Brew said.

"I have no regrets at all about my time in French rugby, it's been a fantastic experience but I feel it's the right time to come home for me and my family.

"I always wanted return to the Dragons after France given the chance. And I also still have ambition to play for Wales and to do that, I know I have to play week-in, week-out and it's something I'm determined to do with the Dragons."

Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones was pleased to have added the two experienced internationals for next season, who he has previously coached when at Ospreys.

"I am absolutely delighted to sign someone of Lee's experience and calibre. He has proved himself in Britain and France as a top-quality number 15," Jones said.

"There are many in the game who still rate Lee as the best 15 in the UK. It's a significant signing for us who is going to help the growth of our Gwent side whilst helping to develop Hallam Amos as a future Welsh 15.

"Aled has shown a desire to come back to his natural home of Newport Gwent Dragons, where he was extremely popular with the supporters in the past and proved to be an excellent try scorer.

"As well as Lee, Aled is a significant signing for the region and we are excited for his return to Gwent. I look forward to seeing him play once again at Rodney Parade."

Byrne left the Ospreys and signed a three-year deal with Clermont in 2011 and last played for Wales in 2011, while Brew left the Dragons in 2012 and was in Wales' squad for the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

The pair's arrival at Rodney Parade bucks the trend of Welsh players leaving for richer clubs in France and England.

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