RHYS Thomas, Ian Gough, Dan Lydiate, Luke Charteris, Taulupe Faletau; in recent years it has become a familiar sight for Wales internationals to wave Rodney Parade goodbye while still in their prime.

It will be something of a surprise if Hallam Amos doesn’t join them in heading for pastures new next summer, and nobody will blame him.

There is hope that seeds are being sewn for the Dragons to enjoy an upturn in fortunes in coming seasons, but it won’t come quick enough to satisfy the needs of their best back (and arguably best player).

The region has served Amos well and Amos has certainly served the region well, but it is understandable for the 18-times capped speedster to ponder whether his ambitions would be better served elsewhere.

Even if the Dragons’ plans come to fruition, they aren’t going to be challenging for the play-offs or Champions Cup qualification in the immediate future.

Amos is still young at 24 but he has given eight seasons of service to the Dragons since making his debut against Wasps in Wycombe as a rosy-cheeked teenager.

This could be pretty close to the halfway point in his professional rugby career given that the former Monmouth School head boy will be keen to follow in the footsteps of his doctor parents by pressing on with his medical calling.

A move to Cardiff Blues, and staying close to his university studies in the capital, would certainly tick a lot of boxes and only the most bitter Dragons supporter would fail to understand.

In the autumn of 2017 it seemed Amos had cracked into the Wales back three, which had been filled by Lions Leigh Halfpenny, George North and Liam Williams.

Injury misfortune then scuppered the Dragon in the Six Nations and he is now back in the chasing pack after missing out on the November Tests while the above trio, Josh Adams, Jonah Holmes and Steff Evans won caps.

A move to a better side and away from struggles at the wrong end of the PRO14 can only aid his international aspirations.

But from the Rodney Parade hierarchy’s point of view, it is a situation that has highlighted the need to use their meagre budget correctly.

Amos will command and deserve a pretty hefty salary, one that the Dragons would have to think wisely about sanctioning.

Nonetheless, if it was purely about coming up with the funds, if the winger who wants to be a full-back was happy to sign on again, then it would be a no-brainer.

But there has to be a point with any individual at which the Dragons must say no – when the overall playing budget is £4.5million then tough decisions have to be made.

All of the Welsh regions are feeling the pinch and poor calls are felt more severely than they are in Ireland, England, France and Scotland.

At this stage one wonders whether head coach Bernard Jackman would do things differently if he had his first recruitment drive again.

The Dragons made a statement of intent by signing Ross Moriarty; they had beaten plenty of competition to bring in a Lions tourist and Wales international.

The 24-year-old didn’t head to Newport just to be part of a project, he came because the money was too good to turn down.

There is no questioning Moriarty’s quality but bringing him in has taken up a massive chunk of the Dragons’ funds. Use plenty of your Fantasy Football budget on Harry Kane and you will have to choose the odd Jazz Richards to fill the side.

The decision to go for the Wales number eight was an intriguing one given that historically the back row has never been an area of dramatic need for the region, loose forwards have always emerged from the academy.

Granted, they lacked a ball carrier after the loss of Ed Jackson but the emergence of Aaron Wainwright and continued progress of Ollie Griffiths leaves Jackman with a glut of options at 6,7 and 8.

Moriarty is unquestionably a shoo-in when it comes to the first-choice trio but if Wainwright and Griffiths are the other two then it would not be a bad back row if they were to be joined by anyone out of Harrison Keddie, Nic Cudd, Lewis Evans, Huw Taylor, James Benjamin, James Thomas, James Sheekey, Taine Basham, Max Williams, Lennon Greggains, Ben Fry or even lock Brandon Nansen.

There is no getting away from the fact that the Dragons have committed to paying approaching 10 per cent of their entire playing budget on one player in an area of strength that will be away for the autumn and Six Nations period.

Given the well-documented struggles for a 10, a plight that has led to them asking to borrow Cross Keys’ fly-half, one has to ask whether they got their priorities right in the haste to make a signing that made the rest of pro rugby sit up and take notice.

That cannot be repeated - the Dragons have to get their targets right in the coming months. They must avoid luxuries they can't afford.

As happens every season, there will be departures that free up some space in the budget (notably Gavin Henson and Zane Kirchner).

Some of the money will have to be spent on rewarding prospects who have developed nicely and are moving up in the world, the rest has to go on the biggest areas of weakness.

After excitedly snaring Moriarty last year, Jackman knows that he must focus on a controlling 10.