DRAGONS prop Greg Bateman faces a spell on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring injury on his first start for his new club.

The 31-year-old, who signed in September after leaving Leicester over a pay dispute, made his debut off the bench against Zebre in round two of the Guinness PRO14 and got the nod at loosehead versus Ulster on Sunday.

Bateman suffered the setback just before he was going to be replaced in Belfast approaching the hour.

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The Dragons are waiting to learn the full extent of the damage, although they fear being without the experienced front rower for this block of league action ahead of the European Champions Cup.

The loss is a blow given that they are already without Wales tighthead Leon Brown during the autumn Test window.

Director of rugby Dean Ryan has stalwart Brok Harris, up-and-coming Josh Reynolds and Irishman Conor Maguire as his options for the 1 jersey.

Former Wales prop Aaron Jarvis is another possibility but it is likely that he will be first-choice tighthead in the absence of Brown.

South Wales Argus:

"The injury is a concern," said Ryan. "It happened right on the time that we were changing him, which was even more disappointing.

"It's disappointing for someone coming in because when you are new to a club you want to get going. We'll have to assess it and understand the full extent of the injury."

The Dragons fielded Jonah Holmes at full-back at Ulster after he was released from Wales camp.

That allowed them to rest Jordan Williams after his impressive return following a serious knee injury.

"We are always cautious around Jordan," said Ryan. "I've been quite open about the fact that we are not expecting him to come back from a long-term injury and play every week.

"We'll manage him across the week and wait to hear from Wayne Pivac and see if there is any availability subject to Wales selection."

They won’t, however, be fielding Brown.

"Leon is in there and has got a little bit of work and rehab around an injury that he took into camp, so that timing won't be right," said Ryan.