HARRI Keddie knows it will be a battle of brains as well as brawn when the Dragons attempt to upset the odds against Munster today.

The Rodney Parade region entertain the Irish province in the Guinness PRO14 (kick-off 3pm) after being given a torrid time by Clermont Auvergne in the European Challenge Cup last weekend.

The Top 14 leaders' combination of pace and power led to a 49-7 drubbing in Newport, with the Frenchmen having their bonus point in the bag after half an hour.

"The body was a bit sore on Saturday, it was a tough day at the office," said back row forward Keddie.

"It was physical but pretty quick as well, Clermont were a typical French side with a big pack and even bigger backs. They played at a good tempo to be fair to them.

"There was a lot of stuff from the game that we were disappointed with, particularly the first 20 or 30 minutes.

"We had a long day on Monday reviewing it and trying to fix it because it will be another tough game against Munster."

The Irishmen, who started the weekend at the top of Conference A, have headed to Wales without their Six Nations stars.

Nonetheless, Keddie knows the visitors will have their usual approach, trying to put the squeeze on the Dragons to strengthen their bid for a home semi-final in the play-offs.

South Wales Argus:

"There will be a similar sort of physical challenge up front to Clermont because they like to dominate teams at the set piece and maul," he said.

"When they get into the 22 they like to batter you up front; they have a big pack and are not afraid to use their forwards, plus they have centres who come in and do that job for them as well.

"There is the physical challenge but they are smart as well when it is on to play."

"Most teams have that driving and carrying game, you have to stand up to it," he continued. "In games like Edinburgh and the Ospreys, when we were accurate with our own power game, we showed we are a good side who can get the wins."

Keddie has enjoyed a run of games in the XV thanks to Ross Moriarty's concussion and is set to play a leading role throughout the Six Nations in the absence of the Wales back row forward and flanker Aaron Wainwright.

The 22-year-old from Llanvaches has switched between blindside and number eight – "it's all interchangeable in the back row, there isn't much difference" – and will try to keep his fine form going with 6 on his back today.

He joins forces with Ollie Griffiths and Nic Cudd in the back row with bright prospect Taine Basham providing cover on the bench.

READ MORE: Talented teen Basham will prosper from Wales Sevens experience

Keddie knows he needs to produce the goods to keep his starting spot even in the absence of the Wales duo.

"It's unfortunate when someone gets injured but it gave me the opportunity to get some starts in the derbies, which I enjoyed," said Keddie, who missed the start of the season after a summer bicep operation.

"It's nice to get a run of games because it is hard to be on the side when the boys are playing well, especially in the back row because it's such a competitive position.

"Our back row has gone well this year, win or lose, so it has been nice to get the opportunity to be part of it.

"Aaron and Ross have gone off with Wales but we have got Ollie back fit and the likes of James Benjamin, Ben Fry, Cuddy, who have been playing well. It's a competitive place to be."