THE Dragons will have a lengthy leaving list to balance the books for next season after making Wales prop Rob Evans their ninth summer signing.

The Rodney Parade region have enjoyed a strong recruitment drive with Evans heading east to battle for the 1 jersey with fellow international loosehead Rhodri Jones, who will arrive from the Ospreys.

The Dragons have also signed Ulster hooker Bradley Roberts, locks Sean Lonsdale and George Nott from Exeter and London Irish, Clermont fly-half JJ Hanrahan, Bath centre Max Clark, Highlanders outside back Sio Tomkinson and Scarlets fly-half/full-back Angus O'Brien.

They have made a conscious decision to operate with a smaller, more concentrated squad with all of the new recruits being established professionals ready to slot straight into the XV.

However, that means that a raft of players are heading for the exit with a leaving list set to be announced ahead of the United Rugby Championship finale with the Lions on Saturday.

Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan is happy to take the risk of being vulnerable if a glut of injuries in one position leaves them short in 2022/23.

South Wales Argus: Dragons boss Dean RyanDragons boss Dean Ryan

"There is no doubt that change is coming for us and we have to change," said the boss, who will have his fourth season in the Rodney Parade hotseat.

"Part of change is making difficult decisions and although it's late in the season we are concluding as many of those as we can.

"There are two or three conversations that need to be tidied up but hopefully they will be done before the weekend. It's a reality that we have more leaving than are coming in.

"We have to change the quality of people that are available to us week in, week out.

"We have had to make a conscious effort to change the type of person we bring here and we have to take some risk by supporting them with some youngsters. The balance of the squad has to change and is changing."

Of the current senior squad, the Argus understands 17 players are yet to have fresh deals announced and have contracts that expire this summer.

Those individuals are Cory Allen, Dan Babos, Dan Baker, Greg Bateman, Mesake Doge, Tom Griffiths, Jonah Holmes, Owen Jenkins, Josh Lewis, Evan Lloyd, Joe Maksymiw, Jared Rosser, Aki Seiuli, Will Talbot-Davies, Huw Taylor, Adam Warren and Max Williams.

Loanees Taylor Davies and Jordan Olowofela will return to the Scarlets and Leicester respectively.

South Wales Argus: GONE: Jamie RobertsGONE: Jamie Roberts

Former Wales internationals Jamie Roberts, Richard Hibbard, Aaron Jarvis and Tavis Knoyle all left during the 2021/22 campaign.

Ryan stressed that the Dragons haven't profited from an increase of funding to bring in their nine new recruits.

"We have to balance what we have as a budget. That has not increased in any shape or form, so if we invest in more people then we have to reduce our head count," he said.

"There is no additional money. People are aware of what the differences are between the regions and we are the most challenged.

"People need to get rid of the myth that has changed. This has not been an easy year, we have to change and to do that we have to take risks in a different area."