OLLIE Griffiths is nearing a return to action and could feature when the Dragons take on the Scarlets in a friendly at Rodney Parade on Friday (kick-off midday).

The dynamic back row forward missed the end of the 2019/20 Guinness PRO14, the European Challenge Cup quarter-final at Bristol and the start of the current campaign after suffering a hamstring in training.

The 25-year-old from Newbridge is close to a return, which is timely given that the Dragons will be without Wales internationals Ross Moriarty and Aaron Wainwright until December because of Test duty.

There is also the possibility of uncapped Taine Basham getting another call-up from Wayne Pivac over the course of the autumn.

South Wales Argus:

The return of the influential Griffiths, who is comfortable across the back row, is a boost for director of rugby Dean Ryan.

The management will mull over whether to include him against the Scarlets in a game that gives plenty of squad members the chance to impress.

The fixture – billed as a Dragons XV versus Scarlets A – has been arranged to give game time to those who haven’t featured much since the resumption after lockdown.

There is no PRO14 action this weekend because of the European finals with the Dragons returning to action against Ulster in Belfast on Sunday, October 25.

Fly-half Josh Lewis has not started a fixture since rupturing his knee ligaments in the summer of 2019, so looks likely to wear 10.

South Wales Argus: CHANCE? Jack Dixon could feature for the DragonsCHANCE? Jack Dixon could feature for the Dragons

Inside centre Jack Dixon missed out to new signing Jamie Roberts in the fixtures against Bristol, Leinster and Zebre while Rio Dyer, Jared Rosser, Owen Jenkins and Dafydd Howells have missed out in the back three.

Scrum-half Luke Baldwin has not featured in the PRO14 this season while the likes of Ben Fry, Lennon Greggains and Huw Taylor could be options in the back row.

In the absence of Celtic Cup rugby in 2020, the Dragons management will be keen to find some fixtures for young front rowers Josh Reynolds, Ellis Shipp and Chris Coleman plus locks Max Williams and Ben Carter.

Friday's visitors, who lost to Munster and Glasgow in the first two rounds of the season, are also in need of a tune-up as 13 members of their squad will be away for the Test window.

The Scarlets fixture will be played behind closed doors but the regions are hoping to stream the action live.