DRAGONS coach Ceri Jones aims to give young forwards Ben Fry and Chris Coleman more opportunities after being impressed with their efforts in Europe.

Fry made his professional debut at blindside against Timisoara Saracens in the Challenge Cup and the 20-year-old from Radyr, who came through age-grade rugby with Cardiff Blues, was rewarded for an industrious, abrasive display with a breakaway try.

Coleman, from Garndiffaith, made his Dragons bow off the bench against the Scarlets at Judgement Day last season, made another appearance as a sub in Llanelli at the start of the month then enjoyed a first start against the Romanians before being an unused replacement against Clermont Auvergne last weekend.

The pair were Wales Under-20s internationals last season and forwards coach Jones, promoted to caretaker boss until the end of the campaign after the sacking of Bernard Jackman, is keen to give them more exposure to senior rugby.


"Timisoara was always a game that we targeted to give certain players opportunities," said Jones. "Even if we had a fully-fit squad it would have been a great opportunity for them.

"The two of them did extremely well. Ben was abrasive in what he did – he is a no-holds-barred character who doesn't shy away from confrontation, which is something that you can't teach.

"In young Chris Coleman, there is certainly a player there. There's a lot of work to be done, especially around the scrum, and that excites me because I can look at that area quite a bit.

"He has shown glimpses and hopefully we will have more opportunities to play him in the coming weeks, if not then he goes back to Ebbw Vale where he can continue his learning with a good pack.

"They have really brought him on with confidence and everything else a young front rower needs, because you generally need a good pack around you to help you step up. Ebbw Vale has really helped him."

The more experienced Dragons will be charged with responding to their 49-7 hammering by Clermont when they entertain Munster in the Guinness PRO14 on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

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They shipped seven tries against the Top 14 leaders in their final Challenge Cup group game with Les Jaunards having their bonus point secure after half an hour.


"It was a really tough day at the office," admitted lock Joe Davies. "We slipped off first-up tackles and gave them momentum. Against the Top 14 leaders, you can't do that.

"We will look to bounce back against Munster, who are another good team. They are like Clermont in that they ground and pound. They are big boys as well."

The Dragons lost 49-6 when they faced Munster in Cork last season with the Irish province crossing seven times.

Jones' men are five points ahead of the Southern Kings at the bottom of Conference B, although the South Africans have a game in hand and home advantage when the teams meet in April.

Munster, who will ring the changes after their bruising and thrilling Champions Cup win against Exeter, have a two-point lead over Glasgow at the head of Conference A.