Eight players to leave Newport Gwent Dragons

Newport Gwent Dragons claim to have released eight players from their squad for the 2012-2013 season.

But one of them, full-back Martyn Thomas, said on Twitter  that he turned down a new deal.

Thomas tweeted: "Just to put the record straight, I was offered a new deal but have decided to move on."

Backs Tom Riley and Jamie Leadbeater join forwards Gethin Robinson, Rhys Buckley, Royce Cadman, Hugo Ellis and Rhys Jenkins in also leaving.

"The decision... has been reached after discussions with head coach Darren Edwards and his coaching team," said director of rugby Robert Beale.

"[It was] based on future business plans and the direction the management team and squad will follow.

"The players concerned have been formally thanked for their efforts whilst representing the regional team."

As well as those eight the Dragons will also lose Luke Charteris and Aled Brew, who will be joining French clubs, and Jason Tovey, who is moving to Cardiff Blues.

On top of that former skipper Tom Willis and prop Ben Castle have been forced to retire due to injury.