THE Dragons will ensure that 'Project Reset' gives them room for growth rather than being condemned to being a development team – with Rodney Parade bosses aiming to secure more private investment for next season.

Professional rugby is set for a huge shake-up yet much of the drama on a remarkable day took place in the west rather than in Newport.

The Dragons may traditionally be Wales' strugglers but their future appears secure while a merger has been proposed between the Scarlets and the Ospreys.

That was top of the agenda for a meeting of the Professional Rugby Board – featuring representatives from the WRU and four professional teams, including Dragons chairman David Buttress – but the Swansea-based region's chairman Mike James resigned, saying "Project Reset has become Project Inept".

The Ospreys then accused the PRB of a "chaotic approach" and "incompetent management" before denying that they would be merging with their fierce rivals from Llanelli.

Free Press Series: MERGER: Talks were held to combine Alun Wyn Jones' Ospreys and Jonathan Davies' ScarletsMERGER: Talks were held to combine Alun Wyn Jones' Ospreys and Jonathan Davies' Scarlets

The PRB hit back in a statement of their own, saying that the merger had been agreed by the two regions last Friday.

A statement read: "The PRB would like to make clear that the statements issued by the Ospreys do not reconcile with the minuted meetings, actions and documented agreements that have taken place to date.

"We met expecting to finalise a comprehensive proposal for the consideration of the WRU board. A central component of the proposal was a merger between the Scarlets and Ospreys.

"We support the principle of the proposed merger, not least because it is in keeping with the overall strategic direction agreed in planning sessions attended and agreed by the entire PRB in January.

"The PRB wishes to put on record its disappointment at the timing and the uncertainty that this has caused players, staff, coaches and the Welsh rugby public."

Despite the chaos, the likely outcome remains a '2+2' model with the Dragons receiving less funding than Cardiff Blues with another premier side in the west and a development region formed in the north.

However, Rodney Parade chiefs are confident that they will have scope for improvement rather than just being a feeder team for the men from the Arms Park.

Key to that is the development of the Rodney Parade site, while the region have also been attracting interest from private investors that would allow them to top up their funding and improve their on-field fortunes.

The outcome of Project Reset will have an impact on the retention and recruitment that is being led by Ceri Jones, with the caretaker head coach likely to hold fire on deals given that more players could come onto the market depending on the Ospreys' fate.

The former prop is himself also waiting for clarity on next season. Jones, who is under contract for at least another year as forwards coach, has thrown his hat into the ring to be permanent replacement for Bernard Jackman.