THE Dragons will ring the changes for Friday's European Challenge Cup meeting with Timisoara Saracens at Rodney Parade after a draining month, writes Chris Kirwan.

The Rodney Parade region ended their block of Guinness PRO14 derbies with a 22-13 loss at the Scarlets, failing to hit the heights of their battling display in defeat at Cardiff Blues and thrilling win against the Ospreys.

Those fixtures came off the back of an encouraging effort at French giants Clermont Auvergne and the clash with the Saracens presents a chance for caretaker boss Ceri Jones to give a breather to his big hitters.

A number of players – including Wales stars Cory Hill, Aaron Wainwright, Elliot Dee and Hallam Amos – featured in all four encounters.

Fringe players and those who have had to be content with bench duty will now take to the field against the Romanians (kick-off 7.30pm), who the Dragons beat 54-17 in Timisoara in October.

"It's good for the other boys that we can bring in and it's also good for the guys to have a rest because we've had a great month," said backs coach Barry Maddocks.

"We went to Clermont and performed really well, then we had the Blues and the win against the Ospreys. Against the Scarlets we just weren't quite there but it's been a good month.

"We will look for a couple of backs to start and some others that started against the Scarlets need game time.

"Up front it's good for people like Aaron Wainwright, who has been outstanding for a month, to take a breather. It's important that we rotate a couple of positions."

The Dragons don't have a wealth of options at prop after Aaron Jarvis limped out of the loss to the Scarlets, joining Ryan Bevington (concussion), Leon Brown (thumb), Brok Harris (knee) and Lloyd Fairbrother (suspension) on the sidelines.

The registered European squad currently features Gerard Ellis and academy prospects Josh Reynolds, Dylan Bartlett as loosehead options while on the other side there is Dan Suter, Chris Coleman, Nicky Thomas and 18-year-old Luke Yendle.

The Dragons' propping problems against an all-Wales front row, with Suter yellow-carded and the penalty count high, denied them the chance to upset the odds at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday.

"It was always going to be tough and in territory and possession we were down to the 30s – they dominated the game so looking at our defence, the energy and effort was top drawer."