RHODRI Williams has won his fitness battle for the Dragons' United Rugby Championship opener against the Ospreys on Sunday but Wales front rowers Leon Brown and Elliot Dee will miss out.

Scrum-half Williams had a summer operation on his left shoulder after suffering an injury diving for the corner against the Scarlets in the Rainbow Cup.

The 28-year-old returned for the last game of the season against Leinster but was troubled by mobility issues while training with Wales after earning a Test recall.

Williams went under the knife and missed the pre-season fixtures against Leicester and Wasps while on the comeback trail.

He is fit to be a contender against the Ospreys but the management team must now weigh up his role, with on-loan Lewis Jones and Dan Babos the other options while Gonzalo Bertranou is with Argentina and Tavis Knoyle works towards a return from a serious knee injury.

FIT: Dragons scrum-half Rhodri Williams has returned from a shoulder injury

"Rhodri has taken a full part in training," said director of rugby Dean Ryan. "After having surgery in the summer he was going to be tight in terms of making the first game of the season.

"He is still tight but we are pretty comfortable with creating some game experiences during the weeks that will put him into contention for the Ospreys. If he doesn't come back then he'll look to next weekend."

Prop Greg Bateman is in a similar situation after returning from a back spasm, with new signing Aki Seiuli, Josh Reynolds and Aaron Jarvis the other options at loosehead.

"Both players have worked really hard and to get them to have a chance of playing is testament to the work done behind the scenes to create as close an environment as we can to a game," said Ryan.

The Ospreys opener has, however, come too soon for Wales front row forwards Dee and Brown.

The hooker and tighthead are being integrated into full training after calf and shoulder injuries respectively.

The Dragons head into the opener after two encouraging friendly outings, edged out by Leicester at Welford Road and then beating Wasps in Coventry.

Taine Basham on the charge for the Dragons in the win against Wasps

Taine Basham on the charge for the Dragons in the win against Wasps

"The decision to look at two really tough fixtures as our pre-season was framed around not having guys with us as early as we are used to," said Ryan.

"We had 10 representatives in international rugby in the summer and therefore we needed to get up to speed quickly.

"We couldn't afford to amble as we had before when giving lots of people opportunities in pre-season, we needed to be very quickly to the side that we are looking at for Sunday.

"I was pleased and there were elements against Wasps that were very good. There are areas to tighten up but the performances give us confidence."