Ross Moriarty: Dragons coach Dean Ryan says player is happy

Ross Moriarty
Ross Moriarty was a British and Irish Lions tourist in 2017

Dragons boss Dean Ryan says Ross Moriarty is happy at Rodney Parade despite speculation over his future.

A member of Wales' back row, Moriarty is out of contract at the end of this season and has been linked with both Ospreys and a move to England.

Moriarty made his first appearance of the season as the Dragons beat Scarlets 22-20 in the Pro14 derby in Newport.

"I think I can help him and I like the way he plays the game," Ryan said. "He looks really engaged with the place."

Moriarty joined Dragons from Gloucester in 2018 on a two-year contract that expires in the summer.

The 25-year-old has been linked with a move to the Ospreys and with only 41 Wales caps to his name, a move to England would put a stop to Moriarty's Wales aims.

The funding banding model between the Welsh Rugby Union and the regions under the Professional Rugby Board (PRB) includes a tier of 38 elite Wales players with Moriarty on the list.

That allocation of money from the PRB pot to pay the top international players in Wales is distributed between the four Welsh regions.

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Watch highlights of Dragons beating Scarlets in their Welsh Pro14 derby.

Ryan says at the moment talks with Moriarty would be between the player and the WRU, but insists his relationship with the player is good.

"I think there's a number of things we've got to sort out," said Ryan.

"He's on the Welsh 38 list, which means it's the WRU that are engaging with him.

"At the moment, I don't control many of the things that go on other than my relationship with Ross and it's pretty good.

"I think I can help him and I like the way he plays the game. When you turn up like that, what's not to like?"

Dragons have a strong back-row contingent with fellow Wales internationals Ollie Griffiths, Aaron Wainwright and new national squad member Taine Basham all competing for a place.

But Moriarty made a big impact in his first regional appearance of the season after returning from a virus.

"Ross was outstanding," Ryan added. "In a game that's played with a bloke in front of you that's either stood in your way or coming your way, that's what Ross does well.

"He was the pick of anybody against the Scarlets when it came to the collisions. There was one tackle when he came off a scrum and lost his feet in the wet but still whacked the 9.

"I thought that was a great player's decision, because most people when they lose their feet, lose their impetus and miss the tackle. It was moments like that when Ross really helped us in the last half hour."

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