WASPS boss Lee Blackett has denied that Will Rowlands is on his way to the Dragons – stating he would be “gobsmacked” if the Wales lock left before the end of his contract.

The 29-year-old, who made his Test debut against France in the Six Nations has been named in Wayne Pivac’s national squad for the busy autumn schedule, has been linked with a move to Rodney Parade since the summer.

The Dragons have been monitoring Rowlands, who qualified for Wales through his father from Pontllanfraith, and are keen on bringing him in to bolster their tight five.

However, reports that a signing is imminent are wide of the mark and Wasps head coach Blackett insists the Premiership final against Exeter a week on Saturday will not be a farewell outing for the second rower.

In fact, when questioned by the Coventry Evening Telegraph about the rumours, Blackett stressed that the lock would remain at the Ricoh Arena in 2020/21.

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"You can tell by my pause, but what I'm trying to say is it'd be very doubtful this is his last game," he said.

"He's contracted to the end of next season so I'd be gobsmacked if he's not here until then."

Rowlands can continue to play for Wales under his current Wasps contract but if he extended his stay in Coventry then he would not be available under the Welsh Rugby Union's selection policy.

If the Dragons were to bring in Rowlands for 2020/21 then it is likely that they would need to pay a fee.

The hope would be that he would feature on Pivac’s list of 38 Test players that would see the WRU contributing 80 per cent of his salary, with the remaining 20 per cent coming from the region’s playing budget.

However, times are tough financially in professional rugby and the Dragons, who are owned by the governing body, have already agreed pay cuts with their squad.

It may be the case that director of rugby Dean Ryan will instead look to tempt Rowlands to Rodney Parade next summer to strengthen his tight five.

The departure of Cory Hill to Cardiff Blues has left the Dragons with Matthew Screech, Joe Davies and summer signing Joe Maksymiw as his senior locks, backed up by 23-year-old Max Williams and bright prospect Ben Carter.

The amount of Test rugby scheduled for 2020/21 would leave that quintet taking the strain even if Rowlands was brought in.