BOSS Dean Ryan has admitted he has had to tell members of his Dragons squad that he doesn’t know if he can keep them on because of uncertainty over his budget.

The Rodney Parade club have announced new contracts for Wales squad members Elliot Dee, Leon Brown and Aaron Wainwright.

They have also confirmed deals with internationals Jamie Roberts, Ollie Griffiths and Sam Davies, in-form back rower Harri Keddie and the young quartet of Ben Carter, Aneurin Owen, Chris Coleman and Will Reed.

The Dragons have also secured the signing of Wales lock Will Rowlands from Wasps for next season and been in talks with regulars who have featured prominently in the current campaign, with further announcements imminent.

However, director of rugby Ryan still does not know his exact budget for 2021/22 and that is impacting a number of players who are entering the final months of contracts, a number of them stalwarts.

South Wales Argus:

“Retaining our internationals is central to everything but some clarity over funding would be nice,” said the former Bristol, Gloucester and Worcester boss.

“That's still something that we are waiting for and it's a challenge to try and develop and manage a squad when clarity is missing this late in the season.

“That is something we need to hopefully get more information on and to get better at in the future.

“It's hard because we like to pride ourselves on being transparent but 'don't know' doesn’t wash it when there are livelihoods at stake in a few months.

“That's pretty tough but the reality is that I don't know and I can't make commitments to stuff I don't know about.

“We definitely have been trying to prioritise elements of our squad but we have lots of other people seeking assurances of where they are, and that's pretty difficult in the current environment.”

Last November the Welsh Rugby Union secured a £20million loan for the four professional sides, who saw their Union funding go from £26m to just £3m because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Dragons received £4.5m with repayment over a three-year period.

Rugby also got a £13.5m grant from the Welsh government as part of the funding package for spectator sports that have been hit by Covid.