DRAGONS flanker Nic Cudd will make his injury comeback for Ebbw Vale after over a year on the sidelines, boosting the Steelmen's bid to beat the drop from the Premiership, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 31-year-old openside hasn't played since rupturing knee ligaments in his left leg for the second time in training in February, 2019.

The breakdown expert, who has been mentoring the region's young back rowers, has been put through his paces by the Dragons medical team and is now set for a return to action against RGC tomorrow.

Ebbw are one from bottom of the Premiership – five points ahead of Bridgend with a game in hand – and would take an important step towards safety if they can do the double on the north Walians, who they beat 31-23 in Colwyn Bay in November.

Cudd is pencilled in to be with the Steelmen for the next month in a crucial run of fixtures that pits them against RGC and Swansea before a crunch clash at Bridgend on Saturday, March 28.

South Wales Argus:

"He's coming back from a long-term injury and the Dragons want him to get some game time and we were more than happy to help," said head coach Greg Woods, who profited from Cudd dropping down to the Premiership to get minutes under his belt when in charge at Cross Keys.

"We talk about being in a scrap and the need to win turnovers and make tackles, well Nic always puts his body on the line. To have someone of his experience in our squad will only help us."

Ebbw, who are also boosted by the return from injury of back Paul King (pictured below), head into the clash buoyed by two precious points against high-flying Carmarthen Quins last week.

South Wales Argus:

That increased their lead over Bridgend but Woods has hammered home to his squad the importance of building on their exploits out west after failing to back-up strong displays so far this season.

"It was a massive draw for us," said the boss. "We were disappointed by Newport away but we were unlucky not to come away from Carmarthen with the win.

"We dominated up front – which is no mean feat against their pack – and we have to back that up against RGC, which we haven't done after good performances so far.

"It's really tight at the bottom, it's been a two-team league at the bottom since Christmas and in an ideal world we would have a buffer before going to Bridgend.

"A win against RGC would have a massive influence on things and I spoke to our players on Tuesday about our home form, because it hasn't been great apart from the wins against Pontypridd and Llandovery.

"That's unusual but the three games that we have at home (with RGC followed by Cardiff and Aberavon) will be massive for us and we need to show the same energy and intensity from Carmarthen."

Ebbw will hope that Bridgend suffer from a Carmarthen backlash when the Quins travel to the Brewery Field.

Elsewhere, leaders Cardiff head to Aberavon, Llandovery host Swansea and Merthyr entertain Pontypridd.

Bedwas return to Championship action at their Bridge Field home when they host Ystrad Rhondda. The ground is fit for action after being flooded by Storm Dennis.