BOSS Dean Ryan has pledged to play it safe with Aaron Jarvis as the Dragons mull over bringing back the Wales prop this weekend, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 33-year-old could make his first appearance since January in Saturday's European Challenge Cup opener against Castres in Newport on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Jarvis, who arrived from Clermont Auvergne in the summer of 2018, suffered a hamstring injury against the Scarlets in Llanelli that ended his first season at Rodney Parade.

The 18-times capped front rower is close to a comeback and is likely to return against either Castres on Saturday or Enisei-STM a week on Friday.

South Wales Argus:

The Dragons are without experienced back-up for loosehead Brok Harris in the absence of Ryan Bevington, who has undergone knee surgery after suffering an injury in the season-opener at Munster.

Josh Reynolds, 20, has come on for four brief cameos and Jack Cosgrove, a summer signing from Worcester, was given a tough time in his solitary appearance against Connacht.

With Leon Brown and Lloyd Fairbrother as the senior tighthead options and 21-year-old Chris Coleman developing with Ebbw Vale, that means Jarvis is set to be considered on the left side of the scrum rather than his favoured right.

"He's close, he is back in training but we've got to be careful with him because we are pretty short on front rowers," said director of rugby Ryan.

"We don't want to lose another, we want to get it right after spending this amount of time (on his rehabilitation).

"I would like to think over the next few weeks we will get him involved in some way or another and we will relish his experience in the side. We are a young group and having someone with his composure around would be strong for us."

Jarvis, who won the last of his Wales caps against New Zealand in 2016, arrived on a two-year contract last season.

After tearing a bicep in pre-season the prop was starting to hit his straps when he tore his hamstring on his 14th appearance.