Newport Gwent Dragons sign Andy Powell on a one year deal

Andy Powell in action for Wales at the 2011 World Cup

Newport Gwent Dragons have signed former Wales and British and Irish Lions back row forward Andy Powell.

The 32-year-old, released by rugby league club Wigan in January, has signed a one-year deal with the region.

New head coach Kingsley Jones, who was appointed on Tuesday, is "excited" about his first signing.

"He [Powell] has the X-factor and brings a lot to the team dynamics, not forgetting his great ball carrying skills," said Jones.

"He will be coming back here to challenge the likes of Taulupe Faletau for a first team spot as well as adding experience to the squad."

Powell, who has won 23 caps for Wales, started his career at Rodney Parade in 1999 before spells at Llanelli Scarlets and Cardiff Blues.

While at the Blues he won his first cap for Wales against South Africa in November 2008 and was part of the British Lions squad that took on the Springboks in 2009.

Powell, who went on to play for London Wasps and Sale Sharks before his spell in rugby league with Wigan Warriors, is looking forward to returning to the Newport-based region.

"I am extremely delighted to be back in Wales," said Powell.

"I have very fond memories of playing for Newport RFC and can remember the great support we had from fans when I previously played for them.

"I have been very impressed through the season with both Kingsley and Lyn's [Jones] ambitions for the region.

"I am very excited for the challenges that lie ahead and look forward to challenging the other Welsh regions for silverware."