Dragons hope to keep Wales prop Brown

Dragons hope Wales prop Leon Brown will sign a new contract and be fully fit for next season.

Brown, 27, last played in the Six Nations opening game against Scotland in February after playing only four matches for Dragons beforehand.

The tight-head is out of contract this summer, but has not been listed among the Rodney Parade leavers and talks are continuing about a new deal.

Brown is currently sidelined through what the Dragons have called a "knock" after previously suffering a long-standing neck problem.

He is set to miss Wales' summer programme as Warren Gatland's side face South Africa at Twickenham on 22 June and travel to play Australia in a two-Test series in July.

"We see his long-term future with us," said Dragons head coach Dai Flanagan.

"We have taken a long road to make sure we do things right. I am relatively new to dealing with Leon, but he has had a bitty last couple of years so we just need to make sure that when he does return to playing rugby, hopefully in Gwent, he is fully ready to go.

"There's nothing major, it's just making sure he is strong and that's been why we have de-loaded him since the Six Nations."

Asked if the plan was to get him to pre-season and then start again, Flanagan replied: "That would be the ideal plan and what we are all trying to pursue."