BOSS Dean Ryan is confident that the Dragons will keep hold of their crown jewels after holding contract talks with the region's top talent.

The director of rugby has been leading the negotiations with members of the Dragons squad whose contracts expire next summer while also looking at who he would like to attract to Rodney Parade next summer.

Homegrown Wales internationals Elliot Dee, Leon Brown, Aaron Wainwright and Ollie Griffiths are among those whose deals run out in 2021 along with Ashton Hewitt and Sam Davies, who arrived from the Ospreys in 2019.

The Rugby Paper linked Wainwright with Cardiff Blues but the Dragons expect the 23-year-old from Bassaleg, who is set to win his 25th cap against Georgia on Saturday, to sign fresh terms along with his Test teammates, who wouldn't be short of suitors.

Ryan and his squad have returned to the Ystrad Mynach training base after 14 days of isolation because of a coronavirus outbreak, with the boss having used his time wisely in his home office.

South Wales Argus:

"Two weeks of quarantine for a coach doesn't mean two weeks off," said Ryan. "We've worked pretty hard over the two weeks to try and understand where we are as a team.

"We are always working behind the scenes on recruitment and retention, and that's going pretty well.

"It doesn't stop for those who work off the field and over the next two to four weeks there will be a steady flow of news about where we are at in terms of recruitment and retention.

"We are working in a strange job where 25 to 30 per cent of people are out of contract every year but what we have got is a really positive feeling around the club and that has been reinforced by the conversations that we are having and people's willingness to renew."

At the start of the year Wales lock Cory Hill rejected the Dragons' moves for a new deal in favour of returning to Cardiff Blues.

Ryan is in charge for a second season so if confident that the current crop will be keen to be part of the region's steady progress under his control.

South Wales Argus:

"Coming in last year was very much about what this place had been in the past," said the former Bristol, Gloucester and Worcester boss.

"I probably would have wanted more time with Cory but World Cup commitments meant I never really got a huge amount of time with him and I think that his mind was made up.

"This time people know what we are about and what we are doing. That has made conversations easier.

"I am pretty optimistic about people wanting to be here, and that will be reinforced by announcements over the coming weeks."

The Dragons are working on securing their Test talent and are also keen on Wales lock Will Rowlands, who is contracted with Wasps until 2021.

The imposing 29-year-old, whose father is from Pontllanfraith, will have to move to a Welsh club if he is to continue his international career.