DRAGONS boss Bernard Jackman will bring back his Wales big guns at Gloucester on Thursday in the final hit-out before a crunch first month of the Guinness PRO14, writes Chris Kirwan.

The Rodney Parade region make the short trip to Kingsholm to face the Cherry and Whites (kick-off 7.30pm) in their last game before their league opener against Benetton in Newport.

The Dragons were thumped 42-10 by Northampton at home on Friday but now head coach Jackman has pledged to field a side in Gloucester that will be close to the one that gets the honour against the Italians.

Captain Cory Hill is set to feature for the first time this summer along with his fellow Wales internationals Elliot Dee, Hallam Amos and Leon Brown.

"We have given everybody lots of game time in pre-season, which is good, and the pecking order is starting to sort itself out," said Jackman.

"From now on we are going to pick or best team. Players are going to have to prove the right to play and we will have settled combinations."

It was the starters that emerged with more credit against the Saints, when they led 10-0 only to concede a pair of intercept tries.

After the break the English side stretched clear with a trio of driving lineout scores, but Jackman isn't hitting the panic button ahead of a vital September that sees them hosting Benetton, the Southern Kings and Zebre.

"We've had a good pre-season so far and we are not going to let a poor 40 minutes impact on that. Northampton showed power up front and put a squeeze on us, but we will fix that," he said.

"There were elements of the performance we really liked, the first half particularly. I just felt that when we made changes we became loose, disjointed and it showed a lack of cohesion.

"I was very happy with the first group in the first half. Against the wind, Rhodri Williams put us in the right areas and we got a good try.

"We are disappointed with the two intercepts and that comes from lack of cohesion in pre-season and not understanding the players [around you], that's what pre-season is about, getting combinations and we've got quite a few bodies to come back in the next two weeks."

Flanker Ollie Griffiths could be in contention for the Benetton opener after a hip injury.