Darren Edwards insists the Dragons will have a stronger squad during next season’s RaboDirect PRO12 despite losing Wales internationals Luke Charteris and Aled Brew to France.
Lock Charteris and winger Brew will both hop the Channel at the end of the current campaign, while fly-half Jason Tovey is due to join Cardiff Blues and Tom Willis and Ben Castle have both been forced to retire.
Edwards has also opted to release a further eight members of the squad, with Martyn Thomas, Tom Riley, Jamie Leadbeater, Gethin Robinson, Rhys Buckley, Royce Cadman, Hugo Ellis and Rhys Jenkins let go.
But the former scrum-half believes the Dragons will return stronger – even if they’re shorter on numbers.
“We came to a crossroads where I decided I was to look for players who would kick us on into the future,” he said.
“I have no doubts it [the squad] is going to be better than the one we had this season.
“I think there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“And it would be quite nice where there is a bit more optimism rather than pessimism.
“The first stage of that is now revamping the squad and bringing in players and having the faith in players, particularly our young guys, to start taking us forward.
“We have been very measured in our decision-making and with our recruitment this year. We are going in with a squad of 38 players and that is all it will be next year, so every player in that squad has have massive value to us.”