DRAGONS chairman David Buttress is confident Ross Moriarty wants to stay at Rodney Parade but admits he is in the dark over the future of Cory Hill – and won't chase the Wales lock's way if he isn't totally committed to the cause.

The Wales internationals are out of contract at the end of the season and are in demand.

Lock Hill is being chased by Cardiff Blues, where he came through the ranks, while back row forward Moriarty is on the radar of clubs in England and France.

Both would be on Wales boss Wayne Pivac's list of 38 chosen Test players that would lead to the Welsh Rugby Union picking up 80 per cent of their wages under a new funding model.

South Wales Argus:

That makes keeping the duo at Rodney Parade even more attractive and Moriarty spoke earlier this week about how much he was enjoying life under Dragons boss Dean Ryan.

READ MORE: Moriarty - I'm back to my best under Ryan

Buttress is hopeful that the number eight, who would put his Test career on hold if accepting an offer from outside Wales, will stay but admits he isn't so sure about his Test teammate.

"We are working on Ross and he wants to stay," said Buttress at a presentation to supporters. "He has been very overt and behind the scenes he has been unbelievably positive and passionate (about the Dragons).

"He wants to stay, there is no doubt about that and I am confident where Ross' head is at. Ross is a top-quality player so I am sure he has other offers but I am confident that he wants to stay, so let's see if we can make that happen.

"Then Cory, let's see. I honestly don't know. I've read the same rumours.

"I've met with Cory, Dean has met with Cory and we'd love him to stay – he is a really top international player and has captained our club. I hope that he stays – he is obviously a top player."

On retention, Buttress said: "What I would say is that if any player doesn't want to be here, that's no problem for me.

"I will shake their hand, say 'thank you very much for everything that you've done for our club' and give them best wishes for their future career.

"I don't want people here that don't want to be here because one thing that I know about building things is that you need people 100 per cent committed to the cause.

"I am hopeful that all of our players that we want to keep stay, but if they don't want to be here then I wish them well."

South Wales Argus:

Director of rugby Ryan has been busy on retention and is now turning his attention to signing new recruits, with an eye on those coming out of contract in 2021 as well as this summer.

"Dean has a very clear philosophy on this," said Buttress. "He likes building things for the long term and if you look at his CV, one of the reasons we brought him in is how he builds teams.

"What we will do is talk to a handful of players that can help lift and improve our team for next year. Those conversations are ongoing and there will not be a big influx."

Buttress confirmed, as he did to the Argus last year, that a deal for the Dragons to return to private ownership is close to completion.

The Welsh Rugby Union will retain the northern end of the Rodney Parade site where there are plans for redevelopment.