AARON Wainwright says “there is no better place to play” than the Dragons as the Rodney Parade attempt to fight off interest in the Wales star.

The back row forward is out of contract this summer and has been linked with moves to Bristol, who have signed barnstorming number eight Bill Mata, and Leicester in England.

The 26-year-old from Bassaleg has won 43 caps so would be able to continue playing for Wales if he left for the Premiership.

However, the Dragons are pulling out all the stops to keep Wainwright and fellow World Cup star Rio Dyer, who would have to put his Test career on hold if he played outside Wales.

Head coach Dai Flanagan said the club are “a long way down the road” in talks with their homegrown players and is hopeful of deals being signed this month.

Wainwright was named as man of the match in the New Year’s Day derby win against the Scarlets and then was asked if the Dragons is where he wants to be.

South Wales Argus: STAR: Aaron Wainwright leads out the Dragons on his 100th appearanceSTAR: Aaron Wainwright leads out the Dragons on his 100th appearance (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“Yeah, this is my home region. I am a Gwent boy but let's see what happens,” he replied after scoring on his 100th club appearance.

“There are going to be a lot of tough conversations to be had but I am enjoying my rugby here at the moment, especially when we are getting wins against other regions like that. There is no better place to play.”

Wainwright would have been forgiven for considering his Rodney Parade future after the Boxing Day nightmare at Cardiff.

The number eight was one of those given a shot at redemption after the 55-21 hammering at the Arms Park with the derby against the Scarlets.

The Dragons dug deep to make it three home wins on the spin after beating the Ospreys and Oyonnax.

South Wales Argus: RELIEF: The Dragons celebrate at the final whistle against the ScarletsRELIEF: The Dragons celebrate at the final whistle against the Scarlets (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

"We spoke before the game about being two from two at home so to get a third win at home gives us massive confidence going into the next couple of games,” said Wainwright.

"Boxing Day was not great, it was an embarrassing result but to come out and get a good result against the Scarlets in front of a big home crowd was massive for us.

“We reflected hard after the game against Cardiff and we knew the only way to put that right was to come out and get a result against Scarlets. It gives us confidence going into the next couple of weeks.”

The Dragons travel to Zebre Parma in the European Challenge Cup a week on Saturday before returning to home soil to face the Sharks.

The aim will be to make it four wins on the spin in Newport and potentially earn a Rodney Parade tie in the last 16.

"The home support has been incredible and I think that has been reflected within the results,” said Wainwright.

"It is about making this place hard to come to and fans definitely play their part in that with how noisy they are and how much they support us.

“We wanted to get the result for them and we did that. I love playing for this side especially when we put in performances and get results like that.”