FORMER Dragons flanker Ben Fry turned down a move to English Championship winners Jersey and is considering a career away from professional rugby.

The 24-year-old was released by the Rodney Parade club at the end of the campaign after making 37 appearances for the club.

Combative Fry, who scored a try on debut against Timisoara Saracens in 2019 after a Gavin Henson assist, made four starts last season but was the victim of a tight budget.

The Dragons have opted to replace Ross Moriarty with fellow Wales international Dan Lydiate for 2023/24 and have Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham, Ollie Griffiths and Harrison Keddie as other specialist back row forwards along with lock/flankers George Nott and Sean Lonsdale plus up-and-comers Ryan Woodman and George Young.

Lennon Greggains, Huw Taylor and Ben Moa were shown the door along with Fry, with the decision made at the start of the year.

South Wales Argus: Former Dragons flanker Ben FryFormer Dragons flanker Ben Fry (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“They said ‘can you come up to the office?’” the former Wales Under-20s international told RugbyPass.

“Dai Flanagan, the head coach, and Rob Burgess, the head of recruitment, were there. They just said 'we can’t afford you for next year.’ “What can you say? I liked Dai. Maybe I just didn’t suit his style of play.”

The forward from Cardiff is settled in Wales with a young family and earlier this year revealed that his father had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, taking part in a CrossFit event to raise funds for awareness of the disease.

Plenty of Dragons academy graduates have headed to England’s second tier after being released but Fry has turned down an offer from the side that topped the Championship.

“There was a potential option with Jersey, but, with the little one and stuff, it’s quite far for me to go,” said Fry.

“I was grateful for the interest – of course I was – but I wasn’t really willing to move that far away from my boy.

“I’m based in Wales, I like playing rugby in Wales. I know the game isn’t in the best state here at the moment, but I’d love to stay if it’s possible.

“There are options outside the game. One of the Dragons’ sponsors is Dragon Studios, in Bridgend, a firm who have companies that do work involving carpentry for film sets.

“I’ve gone down there to have a look and been offered a job from July onwards if nothing happens on the rugby front. It’s brilliant of them and I can’t thank them enough.

“In the meantime, I’m still training in the gym every other day and I’m doing four running sessions a week, so I’m ready to go if anything comes up in rugby.”