THE Dragons are on the hunt for a specialist 13 and are weighing up a move for Wales centre Cory Allen.

The 28-year-old was released by the Ospreys on Thursday and is on the comeback trail from a serious knee injury.

Six-times capped Allen hasn't played since that blow against Ulster in 2019 and revealed in a social media post at the start of the month that he has only just resumed light running.

However, the Dragons want to add an outside centre to their squad for next season after on-loan Wales centre Nick Tompkins returned to Saracens.

Adam Warren, who is unlikely to be risked this season on his return from a groin injury, is a dependable 13 and Tom Griffiths is also closing in on a return from a serious knee injury.

Director of rugby Dean Ryan has fielded midfield combinations of Jamie Roberts, Jack Dixon and up-and-coming Aneurin Owen, although all are predominantly inside centres.

The Dragons experimented with winger Jared Rosser in midfield against the Scarlets in the Rainbow Cup and are mulling over adding to their ranks.

TARGET? The Dragons will weigh up a move for Wales centre Cory Allen, who is on the comeback trail

TARGET? The Dragons will weigh up a move for Wales centre Cory Allen, who is on the comeback trail

"Thirteen is something that we have been keen to look at and get the right profile, we are looking at a number of options," said Ryan.

"Cory has obviously had a significant injury and it's understanding how to support him. Last time we saw Cory was a couple of years ago.

"But 13 is definitely an area we need to understand better and try and get the right balance across other positions.

"We have seen Aneurin play 12 a little bit more and we have got Jamie and Jack who have been shuffling that deck.

"It's working quite well for us but we would like to see if we could get a different type of player into that space and that is something that is ongoing."

As was shown by the experiment with the rapid Rosser, Ryan is keen to add to his midfield options with a different type of centre.

"Quite often we see centres and it's becoming more of the same, I quite like a centre that is a bit different," he said.

"Ultimately pace is a huge decider that opens things up and we just want somebody that fits with what we are trying to do at the Dragons. We are taking our time getting that profile right."

TALENT: Cory Allen in action for Cardiff Blues

TALENT: Cory Allen in action for Cardiff Blues

Allen is a talent but his recent injury misfortune would make it a gamble and the former Wales Sevens international, who won the last of his caps as a winger, needs to work towards top speed.

However, Ryan recognises that the Dragons don't have the budget or the track record to be too choosy in the recruitment market.

"It's how to protect yourself against risk and how to take risk because we are not front of the queue in some of the shopping situations, so risk becomes part of something we have to manage quite well," he said.

"It's not something we are afraid of we just got to understand what it is we are getting into."

One player that will not be heading to Rodney Parade is Wales wing Alex Cuthbert, who was said to be on the radar of two other regions along with the Ospreys.

The maths doesn't quite add up as Dai Young said the Lions speedster is not returning to Cardiff and when asked if the 31-year-old is a Dragons target Ryan simply said: "No".

The region have been busy retaining their talent but Wales lock Will Rowlands is the solitary signing that has been made so far for 2021/22.

Another prop is on the shopping list but the frustrated regions are still waiting for clarity on their budgets for next season with talks ongoing with the Welsh Rugby Union.