CENTRE Tom Griffiths has been given a surprise Dragons start in tomorrow’s Guinness PRO14 derby against the Ospreys in Newport (kick-off 3pm).

The 24-year-old arrived at Rodney Parade from European champions Saracens in the summer but has been limited to three appearances because of injuries.

Griffiths, from Gloucester but who qualifies for Wales through his father, had a summer operation on an existing ankle injury.

He made his Dragons debut against Castres in November and also featured in the European Challenge Cup encounters against Enisei-STM and Worcester, when he suffered a dead leg in the opening exchanges.

South Wales Argus:

However, director of rugby Dean Ryan will give the centre his PRO14 derby against the Ospreys at Rodney Parade, bringing him in for Jack Dixon and opting to leave Adam Warren on the bench.

There are three other changes to the XV that started against Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day, all of them up front.

As expected, Wales internationals Elliot Dee and Leon Brown swap places with Richard Hibbard and Aaron Jarvis respectively while Joe Davies gets the nod ahead of Matthew Screech in the second row.

Number eight Ross Moriarty, who has been linked with a move to the Ospreys next season, has recovered from a calf injury to start while Tavis Knoyle is preferred to Luke Baldwin as scrum-half cover.

Wales wing George North, who suffered a hamstring injury in the World Cup semi-final defeat to South Africa, makes his first Ospreys appearance of the season.


The visitors are also boosted by centre Scott Williams getting the go-ahead after a nasty facial cut in the 44-0 hammering against the Scarlets.

Dragons: W Talbot-Davies, J Rosser, T Morgan, T Griffiths, A Hewitt, S Davies, R Williams (captain), B Harris, E Dee, L Brown, J Davies, C Hill, A Wainwright, T Basham, R Moriarty. Replacements: R Hibbard, A Jarvis, L Fairbrother, M Screech, H Keddie, T Knoyle, J Botica, A Warren.

Ospreys: Ospreys: C Evans, G North, T Thomas-Wheeler, S Williams, L Morgan, L Price, A Davies, N Smith, S Parry, M Fia, A Beard, B Davies, O Cracknell, J Tipuric (captain), M Morris. Replacements: S Otten, D Marfo, S Gardiner, D Lydiate, S Cross, S Venter, M McKenzie, H Dirksen.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)