THE Dragons are still weighing up candidates to join as defence coach after a specialist spent time with the club ahead of a summer shake-up of the management team.

The Rodney Parade club invited an overseas coach into camp ahead of their United Rugby Championship clash with Ulster.

The Argus understands that they observed the set-up, passed on tips to the current management team and travelled with the squad for the 47-26 defeat in Belfast.

Head coach Dai Flanagan has made no secret of his need to bring in a permanent defence coach for next season.

They have operated without one in the current campaign because of cost-cutting following the departure of Simon Cross to become head coach of Old Glory DC in Major League Rugby last summer.

The Dragons have conceded the most points in the URC this season and second most tries, so the appointment of a defence coach is a priority but is not likely to be the only change this summer.

It has been recognised that fresh voices are needed in a set-up that was built by former boss Dean Ryan, while 38-year-old Flanagan needs some experience in his management team.

South Wales Argus: Dai Flanagan and forwards coach Luke NarrawayDai Flanagan and forwards coach Luke Narraway (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

There have been reports that Luke Narraway, who has been with the Dragons since 2019, is heading for the exit.

The former England back row forward is primarily in charge of the lineout while fellow forwards coach Mefin Davies, who is also out of contract, is responsible for the scrum.

Academy coach Sam Hobbs has been tipped for a promotion after spending this season helping out with the seniors on breakdown work, combining that with being forwards coach with Newport RFC and Wales Under-20s.

Wales boss Warren Gatland sparked a debate last month when he suggested that the professional clubs should be looking to improve their infrastructure and off-field staff rather than focussing on signings.

Flanagan met with him before the Ulster game and outlined the way that the Dragons are looking to build their backroom team.

“It was great to have three or four hours to show him our organisational chart and how we are looking to overfund certain areas off the field,” said Flanagan last week.

“I've said since the Cardiff game [a Boxing Day hammering] how the board and our owners have been so supportive. If we can fund certain things a little bit more, we will fund them because we have to produce our own homegrown players.

"It's been tough this season. We've had to under resource things for budgetary reasons, so we can now put our foot in the ground and move forward.”