DRAGONS boss Dean Ryan says the Welsh Rugby Union need to speed up their new valuation process for Wales stars that led to a deal being held up for Ross Moriarty and a frustrating wait for news on Cory Hill.

Back row forward Moriarty has signed a long-term contract with the Rodney Parade region after turning down approaches from English and French clubs.

The 25-year-old was always keen on staying with the Dragons, who he joined from Gloucester in 2018, but the lengthy process of negotiating fresh terms with WRU led to an element of peril given that overseas teams could offer more lucrative deals.

South Wales Argus:

"I wouldn't say that I came close (to leaving) but I had talks with other teams and that's natural for any professional sports player," said Moriarty.

A new funding model sees the WRU pay 80 per cent of the wages for 38 Test players chosen by national boss Wayne Pivac.

It is the first season under the new scheme and there have been teething problems with Justin Tipuric only signing a contract with the Ospreys in February, Moriarty's deal being announced this week and lock Hill recently telling the Dragons that he is leaving for Cardiff Blues.

All three players appealed against salary valuations set by the Professional Rugby Board, made up of the governing body and regional representatives.

"I don't think that (Moriarty being in demand) was every really a concern of ours, it was just the length of time the process is taking over valuation, which has been the part out of our control," said director of rugby Ryan.

South Wales Argus:

"It's the first year of a national 38 contracted players programme and there is a lot to learn from some of the aspects and how long it has taken.

"It's a centrally distributed model, which means your funding is reliant on how many of that 38 you have got.

"That can have an impact on your wider squad because it determines the amount of money that you receive and if you lose a player then it has an impact on having to look for another one.

"Frustration was the word across the process. I had conversations with Ross and never doubted his desire to be here and play for the Dragons, it was just whether the valuation was one that he felt was fair. I am delighted that we resolved that issue."

"Everybody has lots to learn about how we arrive at valuations. I think that things will be done differently in the future," he continued.

"This was the first year of the process and you'd expect them to be ahead of the game next year."

South Wales Argus:

The Blues have not yet announced the signing of Hill but the Dragons confirmed his departure last Friday, saying that they "have asked the relevant bodies to look into the circumstances around the move".

"Players move and everybody has the right to make their own choices. Cory has decided that his interests are better served playing elsewhere but I don't think that is a reflection on the Dragons," said Ryan.

"It was quite frustrating on valuation with the length of time and indecision that comes with that, but I really do wish him well and hope he fulfils his aspirations with Wales and the role that he wants to play."