Cross will join forces with Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan, the former England internationalist and Scotland assistant coach, for a second spell after they previously worked together at Worcester Warriors, when Cross, pictured, was appointed defence coach at Sixways in 2013.
The 38-year-old former Scotland Sevens player has carved out a reputation as one of the most talented young Scottish coaches since his retirement from playing in 2010 due to persistent knee problems.
Ryan said: “We’ve identified that we needed to add more support around the coaching group across pre-season.
“Having worked with Simon before I know the coaching expertise he brings to a team, around defence.From the end of July, the Academy players will train with the seniors, as we step up preparations ahead of the Celtic Cup fixtures which begin towards the end of August.”
A flanker during his playing days, Cross was part of the Scotland Under-20 set-up in 2012/13 as defence coach and involved with Glasgow Warriors during Scotland’s autumn and Six Nations internationals in 2012, before joining Worcester for five seasons.
Cross – who also played for Wasps and Waterloo – previously worked as head coach at Edinburgh Accies, guiding them to the top-flight of Scottish club rugby and earning a place in the British and Irish Cup the following season.
While at Worcester he was also the Birmingham Moseley head coach until 2018.
Cross is currently employed as head of rugby at Royal Grammar School Worcester.