BOSS Dean Ryan is confident the Dragons' online gatherings will create "tighter connections" so that his Rodney Parade rebuilding project isn't derailed by coronavirus.

The region's encouraging campaign came to a shuddering halt when the Guinness PRO14 was suspended indefinitely and their European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Bristol was postponed because of the pandemic.

The squad last trained together on Monday, March 16 before being sent to train alone with personalised training plans.

Like the rest of the world, the Dragons have stayed connected thanks to video conferencing and online meetings.

Director of rugby Ryan is determined to ensure that the second year of his reign won't be derailed by the pandemic and continues to engage with players, young and old.

South Wales Argus:

"We've spent a lot of time on making sure we have a plan going forward, and that being applicable for whether we are back into competition or for next season," said Ryan on an online interview from his home office.

"We've got players that are at different stages of their careers so we've also tried to not miss opportunities to develop people with the long term in mind.

"We've done a huge amount of planning and we've done a huge amount to stay connected.

"We've got a rhythm to our week that has players in contact and we did a piece of learning on Tuesday morning that had 95 members of the Dragons on a Zoom call.

"We've got one of those every day and we have a bit of fun and a bit of learning because these are difficult times when people are trying to train at home and focus when they are not sure when the ending will be."

South Wales Argus:

The Dragons players and coaches, along with their counterparts at Cardiff Blues, the Ospreys and Scarlets, have agreed to pay cuts while the majority of staff at Rodney Parade have been furloughed.

However, the on-field squad are still working hard despite the uncertainty so that they can hit the ground running whenever they get the green light from the authorities to return to their Ystrad Mynach training base.

"We are trying to be the best that we can be when we come out of this," said Ryan.

"Have we got our young group sufficiently developed so that next year they have taken a big step? Have we got our competition group ready for whatever that might look like in July or whenever? And are we still having some fun?

"Touching base with each other on a regular basis is a routine that we are used to and we don't want to lose that.

"At some stages I've had discomfort when I try to interact with 70-odd people across Zoom!  "But it's been worthwhile, we've done some stuff that is really moving us on and will create tighter connections when we come out of this."