RAPID wing Rio Dyer will make his first appearance of the season in the Dragons’ United Rugby Championship derby at Cardiff tomorrow.

The speedster has been working his way to fitness after suffering a shoulder injury in the final game of 2020/21 at Leinster in June.

Dyer has been given the green light to return at the Arms Park and slots in on the left wing in place of on-loan Leicester back Jordan Olowofela, who was forced off by injury at half-time in last week’s 24-10 loss to the Stormers at Rodney Parade.

The Dragons are without Wales forwards Elliot Dee, Will Rowlands, Ben Carter, Ross Moriarty, Taine Basham and Aaron Wainwright.

Taylor Davies gets the nod at hooker, Joe Davies and Joe Maksymiw form a second-row partnership in the absence of Will Rowlands and Ben Carter while boss Dean Ryan is still able to name a formidable back row trio of captain Harri Keddie, Ben Fry and Ollie Griffiths.

Aki Seiuli starts ahead of Greg Bateman at loosehead, Rhodri Williams is preferred to Gonzalo Bertranou at scrum-half while there are welcome returns for centre Jack Dixon and full-back Jordan Williams after they were late withdrawals last weekend.

Huw Taylor, a flanker by trade, covers the second row and is joined on the bench by number eight Dan Baker.

The Dragons haven't won at the Arms Park since the shock triumph on Boxing Day in 2014 while the Challenge Cup quarter-final win the following April was the last time they have beaten their closest rivals.

Cardiff are boosted by the return of Wales fly-half Jarrod Evans after a sternum injury and, with Rhys Priestland and Ben Thomas away on Test duty and former Dragon Jason Tovey unavailable because of coronavirus protocols, he is backed up by Dan Fish.

The back announced his retirement from professional rugby last week but has answered an SOS to be among the replacements.

The hosts are without 10 players because of Wales duty and include former a pair of former Dragons favourites in their XV, wing Hallam Amos and lock Matthew Screech.

Cardiff: M Morgan; J Harries, R Lee-Lo, M Llewellyn, H Amos; J Evans, L Williams; C Domachowski, K Myhill, D Arhip, M Screech, R Thornton, J Turnbull (captain), W Boyde, J Ratti.

Replacements: K Dacey, B Thyer, W Davies-King, T Williams, S Lewis-Hughes, E Bevan, D Fish, G Smith.

Dragons: J Williams; J Holmes, J Dixon, A Owen, R Dyer; S Davies, R Williams; A Seiuli, T Davies, M Doge, J Davies, J Maksymiw, H Keddie (captain), B Fry, O Griffiths.

Replacements: S Shipp, G Bateman, C Coleman, H Taylor, D Baker, G Bertanou, J Lewis, J Rosser.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)