Centre Nick Tompkins has spoken about his own development at Dragons and high hopes for the future of the region following the completion of his loan spell.
Tompkins has this week returned to Saracens following the region’s completion in the Guinness PRO14 and European Challenge Cup.
The 26-year-old sat down with Dragons TV to discuss his time in Wales and admits he has thoroughly enjoyed the spell under Dean Ryan and in new surroundings.
“It’s been brilliant,” said Tompkins. “To come into a new environment and see a new culture and make new friends.
“I’ve been really impressed by the aspirations here and the desire to get better.
“What is being built here is really impressive and is something you can get behind – it’s impressed me from day one.
“The group of boys is young, humble and have a great work ethic. They want to impress you and work so hard. There is an exciting future here.”
Tompkins leaves having played 14 games for Dragons and believes his time as a senior player has been hugely beneficial to his own growth.
“On a personal level, stepping into a leadership role has been good for me and players have looked to me for answers,” he said.
“It’s been interesting to see how I’ve stepped into that role and I’ve enjoyed it. That has been the biggest person growth for me and the way I have matured.
“You always try and improve your game and your skills, that is a given. but the invaluable part for me has been the leadership role.”
Tompkins admits he leaves the region with one major regret – having never got to play in front of the supporters due to restrictions.
However, he has paid tribute to the way fans have supported him throughout the loan and thanked them for their well wishes.
He said: “One of my biggest regrets is not being able to play at Rodney Parade with a crowd. It has been one of the most frustrating things with Covid.
“I’m sorry I didn’t get to play in front of them, it would have been amazing, but I’ve tried to give everything I can and help out as much as I can.
“I hope I have done that and if I’ve helped one player then I have succeeded.
“I’m grateful for them letting me in, everyone at the region as well, to try and be the best person I can be.”
I’m sorry I didn’t get to play in front of the fans, it would have been amazing, but I’ve tried to give everything I can...