Newport Gwent Dragons hope their deal with the WRU is close to completion

Rodney Parade
Rodney Parade could continue to host three teams after the proposed WRU takeover

Dragons chief executive Stuart Davies hopes a Welsh Rugby Union deal with the region is close to completion.

Davies has been seeking investment for the Dragons but has now confirmed talks are ongoing with the WRU, believed to be at an advanced stage.

"We are not over the line yet. It's my sincere hope that we will be shortly," he told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

"I hope we would have something in place in the near future. But I would hate to put a time frame on it."

Talks are still ongoing between the WRU, the region and potential external investors.

The WRU owns a 50% stake in the Dragons, with Newport RFC owning 50%, with the Union in line to take control in a new deal.

Negotiations with the WRU

Dragons chairman Martyn Hazell said last week he believed the deal between the Newport Gwent Dragons and the WRU needed to be done quickly.

However, Davies is urging caution and wants to fully engage with all interested parties.

"What was put in the public domain last week, it is the case we are speaking with the union but I have to manage expectation there," said Davies.

"I have been keen to try and get this to a point where we can fully engage with all the stakeholders.

Martyn Hazell and Stuart Davies
Martyn Hazell (left) and Stuart Davies

"There are sensitivities and there is a lot of emotion around it all and I would much prefer people can take an informed view with all the essential details from us.

"We have been trying to get this over the line without it playing out in public. As soon as we have details we can announce it."

Importance of agreeing a deal

Hazell last week stressed the importance of agreeing a deal by warning of the dangers of the future of the region if no agreement could be reached with no viable alternative on the table.

"After two years of work, the opinion of the directors (is) once the finer details are ironed out, it is the best proposition," said Davies.

"The alternative, as Martyn Hazell has pointed out, is not palatable.

"As much as there is emotion around it, my hope is that when the details become apparent, it will be clear the proposal needs to be supported.

"The current arrangement between the group of businesses is unsustainable and change needs to happen."

Newport RFC
Newport RFC are currently the landlords at Rodney Parade

Newport RFC 'a key consideration'

The proposals are understood to mean the WRU taking complete control of the Dragons and the Rodney Parade ground with the Dragons and Newport Rugby Club guaranteed to play there for 10 years under a lease agreement. However, 75% of Newport RFC members would need to approve the deal.

"From our perspective it's important Newport and the Dragons will be looked after through the deal," Davies said.

"The continued playing of Newport RFC at Rodney Parade has been a key consideration.

"The assurance I can give Newport RFC we have been protecting their interests."

Newport County at Rodney Parade
Newport County played at Spytty Park before their switch to Rodney Parade

Newport County 'protected'

Davies confirmed that Newport County's agreement to remain as tenants at Rodney Parade until 2023 would not be affected.

"As far as Newport County are concerned, there is full transparency on the license agreement," he said.

"Throughout all discussions every party has been made aware of the continuing obligations to Newport County going forward.

When asked whether Newport County can go forward with their tenancy until 2023, Davies replied: "Absolutely. Throughout this whole process the provisions of Newport County's arrangement have been fully shared and understood."

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