THE Wales contingent of Elliot Dee, Leon Brown and Aaron Wainwright will stay at the Dragons after being convinced that Rodney Parade is the right place to push on in their Test careers.

The Dragons announced the 2021/22 arrival of Wales lock Will Rowlands last week and on Monday revealed international contender Ollie Griffiths has signed a contract extension.

There is still some uncertainty over budgets for next season because of the financial impact of coronavirus but the Rodney Parade side have been busy securing deals with their 'crown jewels'.

"It's tough because there is still some working out to understand about the impact of loans, grants and central funding," said director of rugby Ryan.

"None of that is clear at the moment, so it is difficult and puts fringe players in difficult positions.

"It also forces us to ensure that our key priorities know they are part of it, and that's the piece that we can start to give some confidence in in the coming weeks.

"It's a difficult planning environment when you don't know the financial landscape but you want to ring fence your players of high importance.

"Over the next weeks it's important we start to give some confidence that that has happened."

KEY MAN: Dragons and Wales prop Leon Brown is developing as a tighthead

KEY MAN: Dragons and Wales prop Leon Brown is developing as a tighthead

The Dragons will avoid making any announcements that could distract their Test players during Six Nations but the re-signings have allowed Ryan to work on other retention and recruitment business.

Dee, Brown and Wainwright are with Wales along with centre Nick Tompkins, who will return to Saracens next season after spending a year on loan at the Dragons.

The trio are all looking to push to the next level on the international stage.

Hooker Dee, 26, established himself as Ken Owens' back-up at the end of the Warren Gatland era and will now aim to succeed the stalwart.

Wainwright made a rapid rise to help win the 2019 Grand Slam and then starred at the World Cup only to suffer a post-Japan dip.

With Wayne Pivac blessed with options in the back row, the 23-year-old will aim to become a regular once again.

Tighthead Brown missed out on the World Cup but played in all four fixtures in the 2020 Six Nations before the coronavirus pandemic.

He faces a battle for caps with Cardiff Blues' Dillon Lewis, the Scarlets' Samson Lee and Ospreys-bound Tomas Francis.

Ryan believes adding to the homegrown talent with quality rather than quantity is the way forward for the Dragons, who will continue to operate with Wales' smallest budget.

South Wales Argus: INFLUENTIAL: Dragons and Wales hooker Elliot DeeINFLUENTIAL: Dragons and Wales hooker Elliot Dee

"We have constantly got to try to add to this group but only with one or two quality players because we are on a development path," said the director of rugby.

"We have got to make sure that we continue with that and it's really important that we re-sign our current internationals and keep convincing them that this is a platform towards playing at the highest level.

"If we continue to do that then we will keep moving in the right direction, and Will Rowlands is a key part of the jigsaw.

"He has a very clear idea about what we are about at the Dragons and how he fits into that model and what the expectations are of him.

"He has a clear idea about how we can support him to continue to play for Wales and be excited about being part of that group with the likes of Aaron Wainwright, Leon Brown and Elliot Dee.

"We definitely need more players around that 28, 29 age bracket."