GAVIN Henson’s intensity in training is driving standards up at the Dragons, according to Wales wing Hallam Amos.

The Rodney Parade region are hunting a first Guinness PRO14 derby success in almost three years when they take on Cardiff Blues in the capital tomorrow (kick-off 7.35pm).

They have suffered two successive seasons of league whitewashes since their stunning 23-17 win at the Arms Park on Boxing Day, 2014.

And 11-times capped speedster Amos says former Wales and Lions playmaker Henson, who has played in 320 of 400 minutes since arriving from Bristol in the summer, is at the forefront of the preparations to beat one of his former sides.

“Gav is good on the training pitch and carries an intensity that you see in the top players. Leigh Halfpenny and Dan Biggar are the same – they demand the best standards,” said Amos, who is hoping to shake off a dead leg to play in Cardiff.

“That’s definitely helping us in training and out on the pitch, his game management is second to none and it’s great having someone with his experience leading the charge at 10.”

Amos is one of the 29 injured players, including academy talent, that head coach Bernard Jackman revealed have sat out preparations for the Blues.

The management have a selection headache in the back three and a lack of options for the bench but will be able to field a similar XV to the one that beat Southern Kings 29-13.

The pack will be settled, Jack Dixon and Tyler Morgan will be paired in midfield and Henson will join forces with fellow seasoned campaigner Sarel Pretorius to guide the side around the Arms Park.

“We are very fortunate to have two outstanding half-backs with a lot of experience,” said Jackman.

“They are different types of players, Sarel does everything at a million miles an hour while Gav looks like he is doing things at a slow pace but in actual fact he is executing at a good pace.

“That’s the class that he has and he is getting better game by game and getting a bit of rhythm back because he didn’t really play a hell of a lot in the past two years.

“He was excellent against the Kings in conditions that were poor, we are very reliant on him at the moment and it would be great to see him injury-free and continuing to make sure we are playing the game in the right areas.

“His pre-season was really impressive and he is a guy that just loves playing, he is like a kid with the ball and when you have guys like that they are better off playing a lot.”

The Dragons name their side at midday and will give Amos and full-back Carl Meyer (abductor muscle) fitness tests to see if they can start at the Arms Park but wing Ashton Hewitt (ankle) is highly unlikely to feature.

Centre/wing Adam Warren is back from a hamstring strain to provide an option on the flank along with academy prospects Will Talbot-Davies, Jared Rosser and George Gasson.