ON-TRIAL centre Joe Thomas will attempt to make an impression on the Dragons management when he starts in midfield in tomorrow’s friendly against the Scarlets at Rodney Parade (kick-off midday).

The 24-year-old is without a club after leaving Leicester in the summer and has been training with Dean Ryan’s squad in Ystrad Mynach.

Thomas will make his third appearance in Dragons colours against the Scarlets in Newport after previously playing for the club on loan from the Ospreys in 2017.

The former Wales Under-20s Grand Slam winner played a pair of games in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, scoring against Northampton and then helping beat the Scarlets.

South Wales Argus: ON TRIAL: Centre Joe ThomasON TRIAL: Centre Joe Thomas

Thomas will hope to impress and earn a deal, with the Dragons set to be without on-loan Saracens centre Nick Tompkins for large chunks of the season because of Wales duty.

He lines up in a back line that will be controlled by Josh Lewis, who will make his first start since helping earn a shock Judgement Day win against the Scarlets in 2019.

The 28-year-old fly-half missed the entire 2019/20 campaign after rupturing knee ligaments in pre-season.

Lewis returned as a replacement in the European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Bristol and made another appearance off the bench in the Guinness PRO14 defeat at Leinster before being an unused sub versus Zebre.

He will try to put the heat on first-choice fly-half Sam Davies while a number of other players will be looking to catch the eye ahead of next Sunday’s PRO14 trip to Ulster.

South Wales Argus: STARTER: Taine Basham will add oomph in the back rowSTARTER: Taine Basham will add oomph in the back row

Wales hopeful Taine Basham starts in the back row alongside captain Huw Taylor and fellow young gun Ben Fry.

Summer signing Joe Maksymiw provides some experience next to highly-rated Ben Carter in the second row while props Conor Maguire, fresh from signing a short-term deal, and Lloyd Fairbrother are either side of hooker Ellis Shipp.

Luke Baldwin is Lewis’ half-back partner, bright prospect Aneurin Owen starts at 12 and there is a rapid back three of Jared Rosser, Owen Jenkins and Dafydd Howells.

The Scarlets travel with an experienced side featuring Wales loosehead Rob Evans, who is back from a neck injury.

“Rob deserves a special mention in terms of the work he has put in off the field,” said head coach Glenn Delaney. “I don’t think I have ever seen him in as good a shape as he is now. We are really excited by how he is coming back.”

Their XV features five ex-Dragons - full-back Tom Prydie, wing Aled Brew, centre Tyler Morgan, fly-half Angus O'Brien and scrum-half Dane Blacker.

Morgan swapped Rodney Parade for Llanelli in the summer while Brew, the Dragons' leading try scorer, earned a short-term deal after leaving Bath.

Dragons XV: D Howells; O Jenkins, J Thomas, A Owen, J Rosser; J Lewis, L Baldwin; C Maguire, E Shipp, L Fairbrother, B Carter, J Maksymiw, H Taylor (captain), B Fry, T Basham. Replacements: R Lawrence, J Reynolds, C Coleman, M Williams, G Young, D Babos, W Reed, R Dyer.

Scarlets: T Prydie; R Conbeer, T Morgan, P Asquith, A Brew; A O’Brien, D Blacker; R Evans, M Jones, J Sebastian, T Ratuva, M Jones, E Kennedy, J Morgan (captain), U Cassiem. Replacements: T Davies, S Evans, D Evans, K Mathias, W Kruger, H O’Connor, J Price, T Phillips, J Miles, D Davies, C Tuipulotu, W Homer, S Costelow, J Roberts, I Nicholas.