CARDIFF — Newport Gwent Dragons are closing in on a deal to extend speedster Tonderai Chavhanga’s stay at Rodney Parade.
The 28-year-old Zimbabwe-born former Springboks wing, one of the fastest players in world rugby, penned a one-season contract with the region in October.
He has made a solid start to life with the Dragons and announced his intention to play a big part in the season finale by scoring a scorching 40-metre match-winning try in last week’s derby win against Cardiff Blues.
Aled is set for a summer move to Biarritz so the region are keen to secure a deal for the Zimbabwe-born flyer, who has scored five tries in 14 appearances.
He would be in competition for spots in the back three with Will Harries, Adam Hughes, Matthew Pewtner, Mike Poole and a pair of new full-backs in the Scarlets’ Dan Evans and another specialist 15.
With Pewtner poised to continue honing his skills with Wales Sevens and the inexperienced Poole likely to be offered a short-term deal to prove his return to fitness following knee surgery, the Dragons believe Chavhanga’s leadership qualities are key.
“We are desperate for Tonderai to stay and he wants to stay,” said head coach Darren Edwards.
“It’s just a case of coming to an agreement on the terms of his contract and the details of him working in Wales.
“It’s important that he is there to work alongside the young talent that we will have in the squad because Tonderai is not only a fantastic player, he is a fantastic bloke.
“He has become a major part of our squad and has been a superb addition to the whole environment at the Dragons.”
Chavhanga’s stunning try against the Blues came after he was called from the bench but he is likely to return to the starting line-up for tomorrow’s RaboDirect Pro12 clash with Edinburgh.
—South Wales Argus