GONZALO Bertranou is set to provide the Dragons with a derby boost with a return to action at the Scarlets on Saturday.

The Argentina scrum-half has not played for the Rodney Parade club since the loss to Edinburgh in November because of a knee injury.

The 28-year-old was then one of the Dragons’ 17-strong contingent that contracted coronavirus in an outbreak that led to the postponement of the New Year’s Day derby against Cardiff, that after the Boxing Day trip to Swansea was called off because of issues in the Ospreys camp.

But Bertranou is back in training as Dean Ryan’s men prepare to head to Llanelli in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday (kick-off 7.35pm).

South Wales Argus: INFLUENTIAL: Dragons scrum-half Gonzalou BertranouINFLUENTIAL: Dragons scrum-half Gonzalou Bertranou

The return of the livewire half-back is a huge boost for the Dragons, who were also without injured scrum-halves Rhodri Williams and Lewis Jones.

The problems at 9 led to Tavis Knoyle making a swifter return from ruptured knee ligaments than planned after 11 months out while Dan Babos enjoyed his first senior start in almost four years.

The 21-year-old started at Glasgow before former Wales international Knoyle got the nod for the European Challenge Cup defeats to Perpignan and Lyon, playing the full 80 in the second of those clashes.

The return of the snappy, sharp Bertranou provides a contrasting selection option for Llanelli to the physical Knoyle.

The derby is scheduled to go ahead on Saturday with some members of the Dragons squad returning to training after coming out of isolation.

Both teams will have another batch of PCR testing in the second half of the week before the URC fixture is given the green light.

The Scarlets played their first game since October on New Year’s Day when they entertained the Ospreys, sneaking a 22-19 win thanks to Johnny McNicholl’s late try.

The Dragons won at Stradey Park in 2007 but have never won at Parc y Scarlets, yet Wales hooker Ryan Elias isn’t taking them lightly.

“We started the new year with a bang, we are happy with that but there’s a lot of work for us to do before playing the Dragons,” he said.

“They are a very physical team and have played a lot of good rugby; they have been in the games that they have lost. It will be a hard game.”