DRAGONS duo Cory Hill and Ross Moriarty are in dispute with the Welsh Rugby Union over their salary valuations and have lodged appeals for more money.

Lock Hill and back row forward Moriarty are out of contract this summer and are on the list of 38 Test players chosen by Wales boss Wayne Pivac.

That would lead to the WRU paying 80 per cent of their wages and their region picking up the rest of the tab.

However, their contract offers are decided by a panel – and both Hill and Moriarty feel that they are being undervalued.

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Hill, 28, is on the radar of Cardiff Blues but the same deal would apply if he was to head to the Arms Park region.

French and English clubs are looking at Moriarty, who joined from Gloucester in 2018, but the 25-year-old recently spoke about how he is loving life at the Rodney Parade.

Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan is hopeful of keeping hold of the duo but says the region's hands are tied, with the forwards' fate resting with the governing body.

"I don't think that it's about where we are, it's about where the WRU are," said Ryan. "Both are in appeals about their valuations with the WRU.

"That's not for us to impact, the new distribution model has a contract panel and both players have been disappointed with their valuations and have gone through the various processes of which we will be fully supportive of them.

"We can't impact on the salaries that they are paid, so that is a WRU negotiation. We can only wait and hope that those settlements are made and that they commit long-term for the Dragons."

Western Telegraph:

If Hill or Moriarty did decide that they are being undervalued by the governing body and instead opted to take up an offer from outside Wales then it would lead to their Test careers being put on hold.

The lock has won 25 caps and the back rower earned his 43rd against Ireland in Dublin last weekend.

"It's always a choice, isn't it?" said Ryan. "It depends on valuations and that is part of the new central model, to work hard at keeping Welsh talent in Wales.

"We hope that it achieves that and hope that it stabilises and that the best players stay in Wales and stay here at the Dragons."

The region return to Guinness PRO14 action against Benetton in Newport on Saturday (kick-off 7.35pm) and are waiting for news on the availability of Taine Basham.

The uncapped back row forward was called into Wales' squad for the Six Nations last week and is likely to be released for game time.

The Dragons have Dafydd Howells (elbow) and Ashton Hewitt (calf) back and they are likely to join Jared Rosser in the back three.

Young full-back Carwyn Penny has suffered a knee niggle and has joined speedsters Rio Dyer, Owen Jenkins, Will-Talbot-Davies and Jordan Williams on the sidelines.