BOSS Dean Ryan won’t call the shots by phone from Cheltenham on Sunday, instead the Dragons boss wants his senior players to lead the way against Munster.

The director of rugby is self-isolating after one of his management team tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday.

It means that backs coach Gordon Ross will be in charge of the Guinness PRO14 fixture against unbeaten Munster at Rodney Parade, helped out by skills coach Barry Maddocks, rugby general manager James Chapron and academy coach Sam Hobbs.

Yet it is the experienced campaigners on the field that Ryan will be looking at after opting not to be in frequent contact with the gantry in Newport.

"I won't be coaching from afar, there is nothing worse than trying to do a phone call when you don’t have the context of the game," said Ryan, who will watch feeds from the Dragons analysts along with television footage.

South Wales Argus: DEPUTY: Backs coach Gordon Ross will be in charge of the Dragons against MunsterDEPUTY: Backs coach Gordon Ross will be in charge of the Dragons against Munster

"Any time that I have tried to support a coach's development there is nothing worse than trying to do a phone call when you don't have the context of the game.

"I am definitely here for support and we will find a way, but I won't be in somebody's ear. It's really damaging for people to try and second guess what I might have done.

"It's a massive opportunity for the senior player group to take some responsibility.

"That's an area that we have talked about for a long time, about trying to reduce the dependency on what I might say.

"The game is not played by me, it's down to a series of decisions taken my senior players.

"It's one of those things that you would have loved to happen, just for it not to be created in this way! The opportunity is there for people to take more responsibility.

South Wales Argus: EXPERIENCED: Dragons centre Jamie RobertsEXPERIENCED: Dragons centre Jamie Roberts

“It’s a great opportunity for Gordon in terms of his development and it's a great opportunity for Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams, Jamie Roberts, Ollie Griffiths.

“We talked about this before but now it's real, there are no safety nets. It does exaggerate the need for people to take more responsibility.”

The Dragons took on Ulster in Belfast last Sunday and had their round of weekly tests on Tuesday.

Ryan and the other coaches have not been at Ystrad Mynach since and will also miss next weekend’s home encounter with Connacht, plus the build-up.

The director of rugby believes the region will cope thanks to contingency plans with the academy staff ready to fill in.

"We had a game against the Scarlets where we deliberately mixed up everyone's role so that if anything happened we knew how we would cope,” said Ryan. “We didn't necessarily think that it would happen so quickly.”

Connacht’s game against Benetton this weekend has been postponed because the Italians had “a small number of isolated positive cases”.

Ryan praised the work of Chapron and head of physiotherapy and medical services Ben Stirling for putting measures in place that have ensured the Munster game goes ahead.

"Having looked at everything we have done, the protocols in place have been successful,” said the director of rugby.

“One of the challenges is travelling and we travelled to Belfast on a 48-seater chartered plane with 40 people to keep away from the public.

"We have seating plans that sit the management together and that the players are spaced apart so that if we do get a positive test then we reduce the amount of players that are impacted.

"In this case we have had a positive test within the management team and that has affected those in close contact.

"In some ways it has worked; we have limited impact on the team and therefore we can fulfil the fixture this weekend.

“We are travelling to various parts of the UK and Italy and we are put into close-contact situations that we can't avoid.

“Some of the work that has gone on from Ben Stirling and James Chapron has been incredible. We are fairly low on cases and when we have had them they have not had a massive impact on the group.”