Welsh rugby boss set for more ‘tough talks’ as English clubs circle two top Wales talents

The two Wales internationals are the subject of transfer interest

Wales’ Aaron Wainwright and Rio Dyer are key players for the Dragons, and head coach Dai Flanagan believes securing new contracts is a high priority.

The Newport-based team will only have £4.5 million to work with next season due to funding cuts to the Welsh regions, so hanging onto its best players will be difficult.

Utility back-row for Wales After being mostly shut out of the global scene during the Wayne Pivac period, Wainwright has now found favor again under Warren Gatland’s most recent leadership.With our daily email, you can have the most recent Welsh rugby news delivered right to your inbox for free.

The 26-year-old’s abilities appear to have been noticed, as the Bristol and Leicester Tigers have expressed interest in hiring him. Wainwright will have a spot available after the Tigers confirmed that Jasper Wiese, the eighth-ranked Springbok, will be leaving the team at the end of the current campaign.

The back-rower would still be eligible to play for Wales even if he signed with a Premiership team since he has 43 caps, which is more than the necessary minimum of 25. Sadly, Dyer—a fellow Dragons star with just 14 caps—cannot say the same.

Only two caps separate fellow Wales international Leon Brown—who is deemed eligible for Test selection—from the twenty-five required to be in the same situation as the aforementioned pair. He’s been connected to a transfer to the Premier League as well.

“We have a priority list with those that we are desperate to keep,” says Dragons head coach Flanagan of his desire to keep his team’s greatest international players at Rodney Parade. He told the South Wales Argus, “We have to make sure we provide them the opportunities and the chance to stay.

“One of my strengths is relationships with people, whether players or agents, and I would like to think I communicate clearly and they all know where they stand.”

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Flanagan also mentioned the challenging discussions that had to happen the previous year. “It was difficult sitting in rooms with players last year and explaining to them how the land lies,” he stated. “The previous year was not easy, but it could have been the first of two or three unpleasant talks to come.

“At the moment, it seems like I’m sharing more negative than positive news, whether it’s about player selection, player retention, or compensation offers. The bulk of the team will soon be aware of their situation, and I will be upfront, honest, and straightforward with them. I have compassion for the players.

According to Flanagan, signing new contracts for these players is a top priority, with recruiting being taken into account thereafter.

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