DRAGONS boss Dean Ryan admitted he shouldn’t have left stalwart Adam Warren hanging for so long before telling the centre his time at Rodney Parade was over.

The centre signed off with his 132nd appearance in the 21-11 defeat to the Lions in Newport on Saturday.

The 31-year-old from Burry Port, who signed from the Scarlets in 2015, produced a typically committed performance just 24 hours after it was announced he was part of a 13-strong contingent being released.

The Dragons have made centres Max Clark and Sio Tomkinson two of their nine summer signings and the budget won’t allow for keeping Warren on the books.

South Wales Argus: Dragons centre Adam WarrenDragons centre Adam Warren

“Making calls on people is the hardest part of the job. I wish I didn’t have to do it but that’s the reality of the business,” said director of rugby Ryan.

“They are horrendous decisions to have to make but at the same time we have to change, and that means changing really good people sometimes.

“All that you can do is your utmost to be transparent about the reasons and in the Adam Warren situation I am annoyed at myself that it went on for a long time because of other parts of the jigsaw that we hadn’t solved.

“That’s why my respect for him is huge, he has been a huge ambassador for this club for such a long time.

“He is a top bloke but decisions had to be made and there are other parts that we had to bear in mind.

“The Lions game was the hardest experience he will have on a rugby field, when you know that you are not going to be here next season.

“To do 80 minutes in that level of physicality is the hardest emotions he will have playing. All of those guys were outstanding.”

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The Dragons were without a number of first-teamers for the final game of a horrendous season and the patched-up side led 11-7 at half-time before conceding a pair of tries early in the second half.

“I am sad that we didn’t get to say goodbye to some people in a different way,” said Ryan.

“First half we played some really enterprising stuff and got a glimpse of the future around people like Will Reed but in the first 20 minutes of the second half we saw that we can’t hold up to power at the scrum and driving lineout.

“That is why we have to change, that’s why people have to change even though some of them have made outstanding contributions to the Dragons.”