THE Dragons have agreed 25 per cent pay cuts with their squads for the next year because of the financial hit from the coronavirus crisis.

The Professional Rugby Board, which represents the Welsh Rugby Union and the four regions, agreed a three-month salary reduction of 25 per cent in April.

Talks over longer-term cuts stalled and that led to the Dragons, Scarlets, Ospreys and Cardiff Blues negotiating with their own squads.

The region, who are currently owned by the Welsh Rugby Union, have now agreed terms with Dean Ryan’s players ahead of their return to action to finish the 2019/20 Guinness PRO14 next weekend.

It is “to meet the financial challenges of the upcoming 2020/21 season”, which is set to start with fixtures behind closed doors with the hope of eventually playing with reduced crowds.

South Wales Argus:

Chairman David Buttress said: “We have been committed to a collaborative approach throughout this process and, on behalf of the board, I thank the players for their combined efforts in agreeing a resolution that will ensure our business continues to move forward.

“We are extremely proud of how our playing group have conducted themselves during this difficult period.”

The Dragons face the Ospreys in Swansea next Sunday before entertaining the Scarlets at Rodney Parade.

They travel to Ashton Gate to face Bristol in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup on Friday, September 18.