THE Dragons have returned to their training base in Ystrad Mynach for the first time since mid-March to gear up for the return of the Guinness PRO14.

The Rodney Parade region are set to finish the 2019/20 campaign with regional derbies against the Ospreys and Scarlets on August 22 and 29.

They will then face Bristol in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup on the weekend of September 19.

The Dragons last played against Benetton at the start of March and are now in stage one of their return to training, with signings Jonah Holmes, Nick Tompkins and Joe Maksymiw linking up with their new teammates.

Players are only permitted to take part in strength and conditioning and skills sessions while adhering to social distancing in small groups.

All staff travel to training alone and have their temperature checked before entering the site with entry only granted if they have completed online checks.

There is a one-way system at the training base and players are only allowed to use the gym and outdoor pitch - changing rooms, meeting rooms, the kitchen and recovery facilities remain off-limits with temporary facilities installed outside.

Director of rugby Dean Ryan said: “There is now a new-look environment and staff have worked tirelessly since lockdown began to ensure everything has been put in place for the squad to return.

“It’s exciting to move forwards and we are now be working towards moving to stage two and beyond ahead of the proposed return to action in August.”

The Dragons strength and conditioning team and medical staff are ensuring all protocols are adhered to while daily cleaning processes, to maintain high hygiene standards, are in place.

General manager James Chapron said: “Creating a safe environment for players and staff to return to has been our top priority and wide-ranging measures have been implemented across the site.

“We’re grateful to the team at Caerphilly Council for their support and helping facilitate our return.”