THE Dragons have not set a deadline for a trio of Six Nations stars to sign new contracts – but boss Dai Flanagan is confident that they will stay.

The Rodney Parade club announced a new deal with Rio Dyer on Wednesday with the Wales winger signing up for at least two more seasons.

Attention now turns to back row forwards Aaron Wainwright, heavily linked with English clubs, and Taine Basham, who is on the radar of the Scarlets and teams over the border.

Tighthead Leon Brown is also out of contract at the end of the season and is being looked at by Bristol but his injury record means the Dragons need to look at value when making an offer.

Welsh clubs will have a salary cap of £4.5million next season and deals with star players have a knock-on effect for the rest of the squad, so the clock is ticking.

The Dragons looks likely to make room in their budget with the Argus understanding Sio Tomkinson, Gonzalo Bertranou and Max Clark are among those likely to move on with gaps in the roster filled by academy prospects.

The aim is to secure the Test talent and then work with their way down through the rest of the squad coming to the end of deals.

South Wales Argus: STAR: Dragons and Wales back rower Aaron WainwrightSTAR: Dragons and Wales back rower Aaron Wainwright (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“We don't want to lose our best Welsh players,” said Flanagan. “There is a list of them - Taine, Aaron, Leon, we want to keep the best Gwent players in Gwent.

“How we make that work is over to me and balancing the books with the profile of the squad.

“That's ongoing and each player will have conversations along the way that they like and don't like with the new budget. Then it's over to them, they will make the best decisions for themselves.”

Wainwright, Basham and Brown leave the Dragons to link up with Wales for the Six Nations next week along with teammates Dyer, Elliot Dee and Cai Evans.

Flanagan will keep talking to the players’ representatives while they are on Test duty with the aim of wrapping up business to concentrate on the rest of his squad.

South Wales Argus: Taine Basham on the charge for WalesTaine Basham on the charge for Wales (Image: PA)

“It's ongoing and there is never a direct deadline. I try to be as transparent as possible and my door is always open,” said the head coach.

“I speak to their representatives a lot to keep them updated and the last thing you want as a player is to go into March not knowing what you are doing.

“We will definitely be done way before that date and we have a week off next week when I can clear my head and have a lot more conversations.

“It's a bit of a waiting game with certain things because there is only so much money to go around.

"We need to make sure we don't overpay or underpay, and that we are very fair in what we do.”

On the chances of new contracts with in-demand Wainwright and Basham, Flanagan said: “I am confident. They are Gwent boys and I am sure they want to stay.

"It's on us to make sure the offers are fair and help them stay. They all have different ambitions in life, there is competition in certain places around the squad but fundamentally they are good players that we want to keep.”