INTERNATIONAL trio Brandon Nansen, Ryan Bevington and Dafydd Howells have been given a Dragons lifeline after the region announced their summer leavers.

Stalwart flanker Nic Cudd and forwards coach Ceri Jones are heading for the exit at Rodney Parade along with Wales centre Tyler Morgan, who is set for the Scarlets, hooker Rhys Lawrence, fly-half Jacob Botica and back row forward James Sheekey.

The Dragons confirmed at the start of April that Wales lock Cory Hill is leaving after turning down a contract in favour of a return to Cardiff Blues.

The academy quartet of wing James McCarthy, centre Tom Hoppe, scrum-half Dafydd Buckland and hooker Will Griffiths are also heading for pastures new.

The leavers list doesn't yet included lock Nansen, prop Ryan Bevington and wing Howells, who are still in negotiations with the Dragons.

Deals are dependent on other players on the market and whether the trio are seen to represent value after all being hindered by injury.

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Nansen could profit from the region being light in the second row – a lock was on director of rugby Dean Ryan's shopping list before the exit of Hill.

The Samoan international has been an underwhelming signing since arriving from Stade Francais in the summer of 2018.

Brought in to be a big-hitting enforcer, the 26-year-old has made just 15 appearances, eight of them starts, and has struggled for fitness.

The Dragons need another prop to go along with Brok Harris, Aaron Jarvis, Leon Brown, Lloyd Fairbrother and up-and-comers Josh Reynolds and Chris Coleman.

Bevington, 31, had 16 outings in his first season in Newport but made just one in 2019/20 after the 13-times capped loosehead suffered a serious knee injury on opening weekend.

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Howells has been unable to string a run of games together since joining from the Ospreys in 2018.

The 25-year-old speedster was started to settle in the side when he suffered a dislocated elbow against Zebre in November.

The Dragons are looking to sign Wales wing/full-back Jonah Holmes and former Australia wing Joe Tomane, although he is being targeted to play in midfield.

They already have Jordan Williams, Will Talbot-Davies, Ashton Hewitt, Jared Rosser, Owen Jenkins and Rio Dyer as options in the back three.

While there are question marks over the futures of Nansen, Bevington and Howells, the Dragons career of Cudd is over.

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The flanker put his body on the line in 130 appearances for the region after heading east from Llanelli in 2012, becoming one of the PRO14's most potent scavengers at the breakdown.

The 31-year-old's commitment led to him being voted in at openside by supporters in their ultimate Dragons XV recently, beating Jason Forster, Colin Charvis, Jamie Ringer, Ollie Griffiths and Richard Parks to the honour.

Cudd was given a one-year contract extension last summer while recovering from ruptured knee ligaments but the suspension of the season denied the stalwart a Dragons finale.

Coach Jones is leaving after Ryan appointed Mefin Davies to take over in charge of the forwards.

Former Wales prop Jones joined from Worcester four years ago and had a spell as caretaker boss after the sacking of Bernard Jackman.

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The 42-year-old from Usk was in charge for the Judgement Day win against the Scarlets and then returned to his role as master of the pack for the first season of Ryan's reign.

"Everyone at Dragons is grateful to Ceri for his efforts during his time at the region and we all wish him the best in the next chapter of his coaching career," said Ryan.

Outside centre Morgan, 24, moves on after 89 appearances since his 2013 debut and is heading for Llanelli.

Fly-half Botica and hooker Rhys Lawrence were squad cover while Sheekey hadn't played for the Dragons since January 2018.

"We thank all the players for their hard work and professionalism during their time at the region," said Ryan. "All the players leave with our very best wishes for their future ambitions in rugby or away from the game."