THE Dragons Premiership Select XV are set to play all their home fixtures at Ystrad Mynach in a bid to replicate the high-tempo style of Bernard Jackman’s seniors, writes Chris Kirwan.

The region get their British & Irish Cup campaign under way against London Scottish in Richmond on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

They also face Yorkshire Carnegie and Jersey in Pool Three and they will be welcoming the trio of English Championship sides to their training base at Caerphilly County Borough Centre for Sporting Excellence.

In 2015/16 they took on Jersey at Cross Keys’ Pandy Park and Connacht at Ebbw Vale’s Eugene Cross Park while last term they entertained Ealing at Keys.

However, the tournament is played in periods when pitches can be heavy so the Dragons are set to take to the 3G surface in Ystrad Mnach, where they have hosted Doncaster, Carnegie and Bedford in past campaigns.

“At the moment we are going to try and play on here because the weather has been pretty bad and everyone is struggling with their pitches,” said academy boss James Chapron, who will be in charge of the coaching team again.

“We are still in discussions with some Premiership clubs about potentially hosting games but we’ve booked Ystrad Mynach.

“We want to play a fast, high-tempo game and having a good pitch under foot is key to that. B&I Cup we’ve always wanted to [play high-tempo rugby] but it’s also fitted in with Bernard’s philosophy.

“He wants to challenge boys to play at a higher intensity and try and make them better through speed, so it fits in.”

The side will be captained by either loosehead Phil Price or scrum-half Charlie Davies, who are joined in the XV by fellow senior Dragon Dorian Jones at fly-half.

James Sheekey, who has signed a one-year deal with the region from Cardiff RFC, will be in the back row while Wales 7s international Ben Roach, a flanker who has been training with the Dragons, is set to feature.

Premiership prospects come in the shape of wings Matthew Powell (Cross Keys) and Toby Fricker (Ebbw Vale), centre Chay Smith (Newport), fly-half Josh Prosser (Cross Keys) and Matt O’Brien (Newport), scrum-half James Leadbeater (Cross Keys), flankers Scott Matthews (Cross Keys) and Nathan Hudd (Bedwas), locks Lance Randall, Jonathan Davies (both Ebbw Vale) and Josh Skinner (Cross Keys), props Corey Hewlett (Cross Keys) and Garin Harris (Newport) and hooker Alun Rees (Bedwas).

Dragons Premiership Select fixtures

Round one - London Scottish (a), round two - Jersey (h), round three - Yorkshire Carnegie (a), round four - Yorkshire Carnegie (h), round five - Jersey (a), round six - London Scottish (h)