Dragons hopeful over Luke's fitness

10:10am Tuesday 17th April 2012

By Chris Kirwan

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons will nurse captain Luke Charteris through training this week in the hope that he will be fit to lead them out in Friday's RaboDirect Pro12 derby against the Ospreys.

The Wales lock was a late withdrawal from the side that lost to Treviso at Rodney Parade last Friday.

The 29-year-old, who will move to Perpignan this summer, failed a fitness test on a right shoulder injury before the game.

That meant that Scott Morgan and Andrew Coombs had to share the workload alongside Robert Sidoli in the second row against the Italians despite both being on their return from long lay-offs with pectoral injuries.

However, the Dragons are hopeful that Charteris will be fit to wear the number 4 jersey in Shane Williams' farewell game for the title-chasing Ospreys.

“Luke will be in training this week but won't be taking part in any contact,” said director of rugby Robert Beale. “We will monitor his shoulder and leave the decision as late as we can but we are very hopeful that he will be fit for the Ospreys.

“There is no doubt that Luke is extremely determined to finish his Dragons career on the pitch and he will be doing everything he can to play against the Ospreys and against Leinster in our final game.”

Charteris has played just three times this season for his region after needing a post-World Cup wrist operation.

He returned against Munster in March and was swiftly called up by Wales coach Warren Gatland to help win the Grand Slam with cameos off the bench against Italy and France.

The Dragons are also confident that hooker Sam Parry (bruised knee) and full-back/wing Will Harris (foot) will be fit for the Ospreys game after limping off in the first half against Treviso.

They name their squad this afternoon.

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