DRAGONS great Nic Cudd has no intention of quitting as a professional after being released by the Rodney Parade region.

The 31-year-old openside's time at the Dragons is up after 130 appearances and eight campaigns in the east.

The flanker arrived from Llanelli in 2012 and established himself as one of the top breakdown operators in the Guinness PRO14.

Cudd's approach made him a favourite with supporters, who recently voted him in at openside in their ultimate Dragons XV ahead of Jason Forster, Colin Charvis, Jamie Ringer, Ollie Griffiths and Richard Parks.

He hasn't played professionally since January 2019 after rupturing knee ligaments for the third time in training but the flanker has no intention to hang up the boots.

Free Press Series:

"I still think that I have got something to offer," said Cudd. "It took a while after this injury, but I am back fit.

"I played a full game for Ebbw Vale (against RGC at the start of March) and was hoping to play a few more, whether for them or with the Dragons but then coronavirus came along and that was it.

"I want to keep playing, preferably professionally, but these are uncertain times and I just have to wait and see what happens.

"All clubs are just holding fire at the moment so I might have to be a bit patient. I still want to prove, to myself as well, that I can still play professionally after the injuries I've had.

"After doing all the rehab I don't want it to go to waste! I am 31 and that's not too old."

Cudd commuted to the Dragons' Ystrad Mynach training base from Carmarthenshire but his next move isn't just about rugby.

His wife Teleri, a cardiac physiologist, is pregnant with a brother for 14-month old Jac and any offers from outside Wales will have to be carefully considered.

Free Press Series:

"I would think about it and I am keeping all options open," said Cudd. "I am married with a young kid and another on the way in October.

"I have to see what comes up and then I will weigh up any offers; you don't know until it's in front of you. It's not just me as a young player anymore, I have to think of my family and there are a lot of things to take into account."

This time last year Cudd was kept on at the Dragons after signing a one-year extension despite being on the comeback trail.

The flanker knew a repeat was unlikely and was prepared for the bad news from director of rugby Dean Ryan.

"I would have been surprised if I had been offered a contract," admitted Cudd. "I was not blinkered and could see what was going on.

"I hadn't played for 14 months and it hadn't been long since the last injury, so over the last three seasons I have only played half of one.

"While I have been injured a lot of players have come through and played well, like Aaron Wainwright and Taine Basham.

"The back row competition has always been tough at the Dragons. I know that I was there a lot of years and had done well but that's the way rugby is.

"It was just unfortunate that I couldn't show Dean what I can do, but it's not a perfect world and you just have to get on with it."

TOMORROW: Cudd reflects on his Dragons career