THAT plenty wish a lid had been kept on the 'Project Reset' turmoil until the bid for a Grand Slam had been completed shows just where professional club rugby is in the pecking order.

"Why did they have to do this before Murrayfield?" ponder those that love the sport in November and for five weekends at the start of every year.

For those of us engrossed by the game week in, week out, it's a matter that can't wait and it is a saga that has already dragged on for too long. Sadly, there is also no sign of it ending any time soon.

In an ideal world Ospreys-Scarlets merger talk wouldn't have impacted the preparations for Edinburgh; preferably this wouldn't all be unfolding in World Cup year when Warren Gatland and his staff have planned every week through to the final in Yokohama on November 2.

But there is a bigger picture here and this isn't just about a big party if the Scots and Irish are downed, then trying to sort out the domestic mess with a hangover.

Jobs are on the line – those of individuals who are judged on the field and those that graft off the pitch in the community departments, ground staff, kitchen workers, commercial teams, ticket office, cleaners – and frankly them getting certainty is more important than whether red or white ribbons replace the green ones on the Six Nations trophy.

There will be sympathy for Gatland and how it has made his task of masterminding a 13th Test win on the spin harder, yet currently there are players at the Dragons, Cardiff Blues, Ospreys and Scarlets that are unable to enjoy their two-week break from the Guinness PRO14.

The mental strain is immense on those individuals that are out of contract in a few months and don't know where they will call home in September.

Trying to provide some clarity is essential and it is testament to the likes of Alun Wyn Jones, Ken Owens and Co that they are taking a role in the saga.

Let's be clear about this, no individual in the Test camp will be struggling for work next season but plenty of their mates could be.

South Wales Argus:

Justin Tipuric, for example, could have just shrugged his shoulders, safe in the knowledge that he has 62 caps so could take his pick of European clubs and still be in Wayne Pivac's first Wales squad if he was to leave the Liberty.

But it is essential that those with power – the Test big beasts – take a stand for those that are at risk of being collateral damage.

In your line of work would you be prepared to just clock in as normal knowing that you'll be fine when junior colleagues are sweating on their future? I'd hope not.

Jones, Owens, Jonathan Davies and George North owe it to the likes of Lewis Rawlins, Scott Otten, Cory Allen and Ioan Nicholas to use their clout.

But it is an almighty mess that has got even messier this week, just when an end looked to be in sight.

It isn't just players that are being put through the wringer, so are the supporters with no certainty about what the future holds for the Scarlets, Ospreys, Cardiff Blues and Dragons.

As usual it is those that don't care about professional rugby that are keen to see everything ripped up and these changes risk turning off those that currently head through the turnstiles and buy the merchandise in a bid to attract those that say they will.

We have all seen how such promises from the disenfranchised have worked out at Rodney Parade.

Nonetheless, it is clear to all that change is needed to the professional game and, from a selfish point of view in the east, it would be nice if the Dragons were able to get on with planning for the future and striving for much-needed improvement.

Project Reset has ramifications on retention, recruitment and who will be calling the shots from the head coach's office at the Dragons' Ystrad Mynach headquarters.

Caretaker boss Ceri Jones has been given responsibility for shaping the 2019/20 squad after taking the reins when Bernard Jackman was axed in December.

But the former Wales prop does not yet know whether he will still be in the hotseat in September or back in his role of forwards coach; that will be determined by the where the Dragons stand in the regional game and their resulting spending power.

In the meantime Jones is having to mull over how he is going to divide up a tentative budget, with the current assumption that it will stay the same as this season's figure.

Getting more of a bang for the Dragons' buck is the aim and who is on the market impacts who will be offered fresh terms at Rodney Parade.

We have seen enough false dawns in the east and the Jackman era was ended halfway through a three-year plan.

Starting the next era strongly is essential and the delay over Reset risks a wasted year, with the prospect that it will

The Dragons want to improve, they want to be competitive and they want to plot their 2019/20.

They, just like the Blues, Ospreys and Scarlets, would love a Welsh Grand Slam but clarity in the Reset shambles cannot wait. It's already gone on long enough.

Instead it looks like deadlock.