DRAGONS boss Dean Ryan believes 'magician' Jordan Williams has got better at choosing when to get his wand out.

The full-back is set to return to the XV for tomorrow's United Rugby Championship derby against Cardiff at the Arms Park (kick-off 5.15pm).

Williams missed the start of the season but was back with a bang in the round three win against Connacht in Galway, creating a try for Jonah Holmes with a chip and gather before a trademark weaving score in the second half.

The 28-year-old is one of Europe's most elusive runners and has a stunning highlights reel of tries for the Scarlets, Bristol and Dragons.

Yet Ryan believes Williams, who is uncapped but toured South Africa with Wales in 2014, is now experienced enough to know when to use his twinkle toes and when to put boot to ball.

"The expectation that Jordan turns up with a piece of magic every week is probably unrealistic. That's where people start talking about inconsistency," said the director of rugby.

"In my time here, he has shown a real desire to get better at his elements of the game that were deemed to be weak. He has got better in his choices of when to run and when to kick.

"I am pretty happy with him and the expectation that he will get his wand out every week is probably not ideal.

"He has magical moments and the ability to turn games through things that nobody could see, but I think his choices about when to do that were really in the spotlight against Connacht.

"He played the percentage game and field position really well, then gave us two magical moments. That's Jordy at his best and I am pretty happy with the progress that he is making."

South Wales Argus: TRY: Jordan Williams darted over for a score in Galway for the DragonsTRY: Jordan Williams darted over for a score in Galway for the Dragons

Williams missed the 24-10 loss to the Stormers after coming into contact with somebody who tested positive for coronavirus, leading to Josh Lewis starting at full-back.

Lewis, a fly-half by trade, has scored two tries in three starts and impressed with his direct carrying and kicking game but Williams, who returned from a serious knee injury last season, is a man who puts opposition defences on edge.

"We miss him, without a doubt, because we don't have many players with the ability to provide those moments," said Ryan.

"Sometimes we end up in long phases of play because we don't have those elements within our game, so we are delighted to have him back."

The Dragons name their squad to face Cardiff at midday with Williams likely to start at full-back while flanker Harri Keddie (head injury) and centre Jack Dixon (personal reasons) will return after missing the Stormers game.

Ryan is likely to pair Joe Davies and Joe Maksymiw in the second row in the absence of Wales duo Will Rowlands and Ben Carter.

They are likely to be backed up on the bench by Huw Taylor, who is primarily a blindside flanker, although Max Williams has recently returned from a serious Achilles injury.

With Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham and Ross Moriarty on Test duty, Keddie and Ollie Griffiths could be joined in the back row by Ben Fry or Dan Baker.

Taylor Davies, Ellis Shipp and Richard Hibbard are the contenders to replace Elliot Dee in the heart of the front row.