NEWPORT Gwent Dragons will release full-back Martyn Thomas at the end of the season.

The 24-year-old is out of contract this summer and is one of eight players that have not been offered new deals to stay at Rodney Parade.

Thomas has spent the last six campaigns with the Dragons and was on the fringes of the Wales squad before a horror leg break in 2010.

He suffered another leg fracture last season but had recently been showing glimpses of a return to top form.

However, it has not been enough to earn a new contract. The region will start next season with Will Harries vying for the start at 15 with the Scarlets’ Dan Evans and another specialist full-back who is close to signing.

Also leaving the Dragons are centre Tom Riley, number eight Hugo Ellis, scrum-half James Leadbeater, hooker Rhys Buckley, tighthead Gethin Robinson, lock Royce Cadman and flanker Rhys Jenkins.

The Dragons are trimming their squad and plan to operate with a core group of 38 players next season.

Director of rugby Robert Beale said: “The decision to not offer contract extensions to these players has been reached after discussions with head coach Darren Edwards and his coaching team.

“It is based on future business plans and the direction the management team and squad will follow.

“The players concerned have been formally thanked for their efforts while representing the regional team.”

The Dragons are close to finalising terms with the current crop that they are retaining.