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Wales hopeful Sam Parry set for Dragons exit

First published in Sport

SAM Parry will leave Newport Gwent Dragons at the end of the season and the Ospreys are keen to snap up the hooker, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 22-year-old from Haverfordwest is out of contract this summer and has not been offered a fresh deal at Rodney Parade.

Parry, who is training with the Wales Six Nations squad, could be heading west to try and fill the sizeable void left by the Ospreys' Gloucester-bound Lions star Richard Hibbard.

He has made 48 appearances over three seasons since heading to Rodney Parade from Llandovery.

Parry caught the eye of national forwards coach Robin McBryde, who invited him to training at the Vale of Glamorgan headquarters ahead of the summer tour to Japan.

The Dragons front rower failed to make the cut for the two-Test trip to the Far East but got another call-up this week to help with preparations for the Six Nations opener against Italy.

Hibbard is nursing a hip injury and that has left Wales down to Scarlets pair Emyr Phillips and Ken Owens as their fit hookers.

Parry may be mixing with the international big guns this week but he won't be on the scene at Rodney Parade next season.

Former Wales hooker Rhys Thomas, 30, has impressed in his first season with the region after heading back over the Severn Bridge from London Wasps

He has been backed up this season by Parry, Hugh Gustafson and Wales Under-20s prospect Elliot Dee, who is rated very highly by Dragons bosses and will start against Northampton in the LV= Cup on Saturday.

Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones has previously confirmed that full-back Dan Evans will not be with the region next summer but was tight-lipped on other departures with wing Will Harries and wing/centre Adam Hughes also out of contract.

"We are discussing many things with many players," he said. "Rumours fly around at this time of year and it makes a nice story, but for us it is a lot more serious than that.

"This is about the future of the club and we want to retain quality rugby players who are going to offer something to the future of the Dragons.

"Player recruitment is a 12-month activity, I came here quite late in June and wanted to have a look for six months at how this club runs and at who is who.

"It takes time to see people play and understand how they deal with pressure. We are recruiting and renewing and that's part of the industry.

"Recruitment is the toughest and most important part of the business because if a director of rugby gets it wrong then they compromise the business; we have seen plenty of examples of that."

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