Dragons have just been dealt a massive blow for next season – the loss of Wales second row Cory Hill. 

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With Dean Ryan having shaken things up at Rodney Parade this season, it was hoped that the progress of the Guinness PRO14 outfit would be enough to convince the 2017/18 club captain that his future was best served by sticking with Dragons.

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However, the Newport-based franchise have confirmed they haven’t been able to convince the 28-year-old to sign a new deal and he will now leave after seven years at the club. 

Cardiff Blues is believed to be his destination for 2020/21 and Dragons have called on the Welsh Rugby Union to launch an investigation into the circumstances of the deal that has lured their popular lock away from them.

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“We’re disappointed to see Cory depart and everyone at Dragons Rugby wishes Cory well for the future,” said Dean Ryan.

A club statement suggested Hill’s departure wasn’t without acrimony. “Dragons confirm Cory Hill will be leaving the region at the expiration of his current contract after seven seasons at Rodney Parade.

“Dragons would like to thank Cory for his contribution in the roles he played as captain and as a player in helping the development of the team on and off the field. Dragons have asked the relevant bodies to look into the circumstances around the move.”

A graduate of the Cardiff Blues academy, Hill made his Wales debut in 2016 and was a mid-tour call-up for the 2017 British and Irish Lions in New Zealand as one of the infamous ‘Geographical Six’.

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After scoring the winning try against England in February 2019 Guinness Six Nations match in Cardiff, he was included in Warren Gatland’s World Cup squad but he returned from Japan without featuring after suffering a stress fracture. 

Hill resumed action for the Dragons in December and his last outing for the club came in the final group game against Enisei-STM which secured a quarter-final place in the European Challenge Cup.

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