BOSS Dean Ryan wants to add "two or three" experienced players to his Dragons squad but says they don't have the money to buy progress.

The Rodney Parade region are looking to build from within and have retained the core of their group for next season with Cardiff Blues-bound Wales lock Cory Hill the exception.

Director of rugby Ryan is now looking to add to his squad in some key areas – with lock, loosehead and centre the main concern – but is not blessed with a big budget.

The former Gloucester, Bristol and Worcester boss knew that money would be tight when agreeing to head to Rodney Parade last summer and is happy to work with what he has got.

Ryan has strengthened his management team and believes there is more to come from the squad who enjoyed an encouraging 2019/20.

"We've always targeted to make the group that we've got better. Wales is not a recruitment model," he said.

"I've worked in the English Premiership and you go into a club and your quickest way to improve is probably changing players, because you've got a free global market to move around in.

South Wales Argus:

"Wales is about making people better, so our focus is on the group we've got. We haven't just retained quite a lot, we've retained all the people (that we wanted) outside of Cory.

"That's a significant boost for the club off the back of some tough years, so that's a real credit to everybody involved in the club.

"We then always said, we don't want to get big numbers of players coming into this group. This group is a good group.

"Therefore, we've got to be strong enough to keep supporting it and making it better.

"What we do want one is two or three players to come in, add some experience, stabilise the place. Am I confident of that? Yes, I'm hopeful of that.

"I recognise that times are different, but absolutely I'm hopeful that we can add some experience to the group, stabilise the group with the focus remaining on this playing group getting better."

The Dragons had enjoyed an encouraging campaign before the coronavirus crisis.

They were fifth in Conference A of the Guinness PRO14 - a position that would have earned a Champions Cup play-off with Connacht - and beat the Scarlets and Ospreys over the festive period.

In Europe they emerged from a group featuring Castres and Worcester to set up a Challenge Cup quarter-final against Bristol.

Last week they announced that Wales number eight Ross Moriarty had signed a new long-term contract.

He followed Rhodri Williams, Ollie Griffiths, Jordan Williams, Josh Lewis, Rio Dyer, Taine Basham and academy products Max Williams, Connor Edwards, Lennon Greggains, Josh Reynolds and Dan Babos in re-signing with more retentions to be announced in the coming weeks.