DRAGONS back row forward Ollie Griffiths has trained “flat out” in training and is in the mix for Sunday’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Ulster.

The 25-year-old from Newbridge 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 Dragons opted not to give Griffiths game time in last Friday’s friendly against the Scarlets but he will be one of their options for the trip to Belfast, a timely return while they are without Wales back rowers Ross Moriarty and Aaron Wainwright.

“Ollie has trained well and has done everything right,” said forwards coach Mefin Davies. “He went flat out on Thursday so I am not concerned about him at all, it will be great to have him back.”

South Wales Argus:

The Dragons are without Moriarty and Wainwright but can still call upon Griffiths, Taine Basham, Harrison Keddie, Ben Fry, Huw Taylor to pick from.

“We are very fortunate to have real strength in the back row because Ben Fry was outstanding against the Scarlets and Taine is a fantastic talent,” said Davies. “There is huge competition and headaches for the coaching team.”

Very few of last week’s squad that faced the Scarlets will be in the XV for Belfast, while the visitors from the west fielded a strong side to prepare for their fixture against Benetton.

The result was a 36-10 defeat for the men from Rodney Parade but Davies still felt it was a worthwhile exercise, with the youngsters given a reminder of the standards they will have to hit if called up for PRO14 action.

“I do feel for a lot of the players because they have trained week in and week out for a long period of time without games,” said the former Wales hooker, who arrived from Worcester this summer to replace Ceri Jones.

South Wales Argus:

“A lot of players have also come back from long-term injuries and you forget sometimes that is a first appearance for a long time. It’s nice to see them back on the field.

“Of course, you get caught up in the emotion of the game, as every player does, and you always want to win.

“This game was about understanding where we are at. You can train as often as possible, but in terms of managing the game and knowing what is required to get field position, that is what you learn.

“We’ve found out a lot about ourselves and also a lot about a different group of players.”

While most of the Dragons squad won’t be in action at Ravenhill, they do have to be ready for director of rugby Dean Ryan.

“Any one of these players could have a call-up at any point and they need to be in the best physical position possible to do so,” said Davies.

“For our youngsters to play against players like Rob Evans is fantastic. He is an international player fighting to get back in the Wales squad and gave everything.

“Our players got to play against that standard of player and we need them to be good to go. If the opportunity comes then they need to grab it.”

Fly-half Josh Lewis will go through the return to play protocols this week after suffering a blow to the head when making a big tackle on Tom Prydie.

The incident happened just three minutes into his first start since April 2019. He has been backing up Sam Davies.