THE Dragons will make late fitness calls on players bidding to be on their bench for the Guinness PRO14 opener at Munster on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

The Rodney Parade region start the Dean Ryan era with a tricky trip to Thomond Park to face last season's semi-finalists.

The Dragons' starting line-up is likely to be similar to the one that went up against the Scarlets in their 34-17 pre-season win in Newport a fortnight ago.

South Wales Argus:

There will be an enforced change with Samoa lock Brandon Nansen set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering an injury to his right forearm in the friendly, although the Dragons are staying tight-lipped about the extent of the damage.

The same applies for wing Jared Rosser, who did not feature in pre-season after suffering a leg injury in training but is believed to be facing a couple of months out.

That is set to lead to a PRO14 debut for Wales Sevens international Owen Jenkins, who will join Jordan Williams and Ashton Hewitt in the back three.

Centres Jack Dixon and Adam Warren will aim to pick up where they left off against the Scarlets and marquee summer signing Sam Davies will renew his Wales Under-20s half-back partnership with Rhodri Williams.

There are decisions to be made either side of hooker Richard Hibbard with Brok Harris and Ryan Bevington the options at loosehead and Lloyd Fairbrother pushing Wales World Cup training squad tighthead Leon Brown.

Nansen's injury means that Joe Davies and Matthew Screech are the last senior specialists standing in the second row while Huw Taylor and Lewis Evans impressed against the Scarlets alongside talisman back row forward Ollie Griffiths.

The main decisions facing Ryan are on the bench with several players pushing for selection after returning from summer niggles.

South Wales Argus:

Wales centre Tyler Morgan is in the mix after a shoulder problem, back row forward Harrison Keddie (pictured above) has recovered from a chest injury suffered when captaining the side against Cardiff Blues in the Celtic Cup and Josh Lewis is hoping to be fly-half Davies' back-up if he gets the all-clear from a knee injury.

If Lewis isn't given the thumbs-up then it will be a decision between Arwel Robson, who has returned in the Celtic Cup after nine months out with a knee injury, and Jacob Botica, who is yet to make a professional appearance following his move from RGC 1404 in the summer of 2018.

"We've got a number boys that we are assessing at the moment," said forwards coach Ceri Jones. "A few of them took bumps over a long pre-season.

"It's down to business now and we need to put our best team out there on the field to go and get a result.

"Tyler trained and is part of it but we have a number of boys who are there or thereabouts.

"It's a delicate balancing act with squad selection, it's putting the best team out but it's a mix with regard to whether they have had enough preparation time.

"But it's a huge challenge in Munster and we feel that we have had a really good pre-season, so everyone is excited and wants to get out on the field."

Those that don't make the cut for Ryan's seniors will be considered for the Dragons XV squad for Saturday's tough test against unbeaten Celtic Cup holders Leinster at Donnybrook.