BOSS Dean Ryan has no interest in leaving the Dragons after being linked with a return to England with Harlequins.

The Rugby Paper reported on Sunday that the former England forward is on a shortlist of candidates identified by bosses at the Stoop after the departure of Paul Gustard.

Ryan was in charge at Bristol, Gloucester and Worcester before taking up a role as head of international player development at the Rugby Football Union.

He left Twickenham to join the Dragons in the summer of 2019, not only getting the job as Bernard Jackman’s replacement but having a place on the board.

That means his job title is director of Dragons Rugby rather than director of rugby. The region’s accounts for the year ending in June stated that one director was paid £284,012.

Quins may well be admirers of the 54-year-old, but the Dragons head honcho has stressed he will continue his work at Rodney Parade.

South Wales Argus:

“I have no interest in looking at anything outside of here, it’s quite simple,” he said. “People at the Rugby Paper obviously like flying kites!

“I’ve always been invested long-term here and nothing has changed my view of that. I have really enjoyed, and am still enjoying, what I am doing at the Dragons.

“I just have no interest [in leaving], I have got so much emotional investment in what we are trying to do here. Nothing else comes on my radar in that situation.”

Ryan helped the Dragons to avoid the tag as Wales’ worst region for just the fifth time when they finished above the Ospreys. The last time they had avoided propping up the pile was in 2015 when Cardiff Blues were beneath them.

They also made the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup and qualified for this season’s Champions Cup courtesy of finishing fifth in Conference A, returning to Europe’s premier tournament for the first time since 2011.

The 2021/22 campaign has been a more stop-start affair with the Dragons hindered by an autumn coronavirus outbreak and then a pair of positives on the eve of their Champions Cup return against Wasps that led to them having to make six late changes to their matchday squad.

They return to action in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday when they host Connacht, one of five home games in their seven remaining fixtures.

The Dragons are playing catch-up in the bid for next season’s premier European competition with the third-placed Ospreys 13 points ahead of them, albeit Ryan’s men have two games in hand.

Meanwhile, Ryan has refused to be drawn on links with Argentina scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou, who they are looking at to provide competition for captain Rhodri Williams.

“Being linked with international players is good press but when we have got something to say then we’ll say it,” said Ryan.