DRAGONS boss Dean Ryan says it’s unacceptable that the lack of a plan for the professional game from the Welsh Rugby Union has led to speculation about a region being culled.

A report commissioned by the Professional Rugby Board – the organisation featuring members from the WRU, the Dragons, Ospreys, Cardiff and Scarlets – has put forward a number of proposals.

The most eye-catching is the suggestion of cutting one of the professional quartet from the start of the 2023/24 season.

That idea is likely to be thrown out when the PRB meet next week and director of rugby Ryan, who is on the Dragons’ board, is frustrated at a situation he believes has been created by silence from the governing body.

“In the absence of any clear direction or a clear strategy I’m not surprised somebody somewhere will take something and put it front and centre of headlines,” said the former England forward.

“Aren’t we all weary of not having a strategy? I think that nips everything in the bud if someone gave a clear direction of travel and the direction Wales and the regions are going,” he continued.

“If you leave that in the open for a long period of time and nothing happens then we’re left with an environment where everyone speculates.”

South Wales Argus:

Ryan has frequently lamented the absence of a collective strategy for the professional game – “this isn’t weeks waiting for a strategy, it’s years” – and is tired at the almost annual crisis.

“I don’t think anybody is in any doubt that this is unacceptable. Please tell me that. Are we this far in that people think where we are is acceptable? Because I can’t believe that,” said the former Bristol, Gloucester and Worcester boss, who was appointed in 2019.

“It’s for the four regions and the governing body to come up with an integrated strategy, not for people to come up with things in isolation.

“That’s clearly causing some problems [because] they haven’t be able to arrive at that. Is that acceptable? No it’s not. It’s not acceptable to carry on in the way that we are.

“Let’s hope... let’s keep our fingers crossed that we are moving closer to something.”

Ryan said he has kept his players in the loop and that it is business as usual for the Dragons, who have had a strong recruitment drive with new recruits on at least two-year contracts.

South Wales Argus:

“Myself and David [Buttress, chairman] have been quite clear to the players and the staff about what’s happening within the PRB and the context that doesn’t get included in media reports,” he said.

“Context is everything, information is everything. We could do without these things popping up on your phone at 6pm but players are clear on the context of the report, the alternatives and where David’s energy is taking the club.”

The Dragons became WRU-owned in 2017 with the deal seeing the governing body buy Rodney Parade from Newport RFC.

Buttress has been frustrated in his bid to take them back into private ownership but vowed to fight for the region's future.

“Worrying is a rubbish waste of time,” the minority shareholder Tweeted.

“Fighting, believing, building, backing ourselves and sticking together is what I will spent my energy on. We have a long way to go together yet.”