Ross Moriarty is set to reject a deal from reigning Guinness Pro14 Champions Scarlets to sign with the Dragons, says Neil Fissler in the Rugby Paper.
The 23-year-old will leave Gloucester when is contract expires in the end of the season, and has attracted interest from some of the top clubs across both England and France.
With the introduction of the new selection policy for the Welsh national team though, if Moriarty chose to play outside of Wales he would not be eligible for international rugby as he is not at the 60-cap threshold.
This left the Scarlets as the favourites for Moriarty’s signature, with John Barclay and Tadhg Beirne set to depart from West Wales at the end of the season, and the Llanelli-based region looking in a strong position to qualify for the European Champions Cup.
However, after meeting with the Dragons management at the Celtic Manor Hotel last week it appears he has been convinced to join the Welsh Rugby Union owned region on a contract that would see him become the highest paid player in Wales.
At £350,000 a year it would spark fresh questions from those outside of Gwent about the source of apparent additional funding going into the squad at Rodney Parade.
There is no question the 17-cap Welshman would be a high quality signings for the Dragons though, joining fellow international squad members Leon Brown, Elliott Dee, Cory Hill and Hallam Amos at the region.
Bernard Jackman has already made moves to strengthen his playing options, with Jordan Williams already confirmed, while Rhodri Williams and Ryan Bevington are set to follow him over the bridge from Bristol.
Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac meanwhile has suggested that they in fact pulled out of any move to sign Moriarty, telling WalesOnline, “It is not a matter of missing out, it’s a matter of us looking at what we want to do with our squad.
“Ross is a player I have talked openly about and rate highly. But he has had a recurrence of a back injury. The indication is that he is looking at all options and may want to talk to us in the future.
“We are busy in other directions looking at players that could be available for the whole season versus someone like Ross.”
Featured image: Clement Bucco-Lechat