FLANKER James Benjamin is set for his first Dragons appearance in 13 months in the Champions Cup clash with Bordeaux-Begles.

The ball-playing back row has been registered for Europe at the expense of Lennon Greggains, who suffered a shoulder injury against Wasps last weekend.

Benjamin scored last time that the Dragons took on Bordeaux at the Stade Chaban-Delmas in 2018, helping them lead 23-15 after 53 minutes before the French pack got on top for a 36-28 win.

He is poised to return to the fray for the first time since the November, 2019 Challenge Cup win at Enisei-STM because of raft of absentees.

South Wales Argus: TALENTED: James BenjaminTALENTED: James Benjamin

Director of rugby Dean Ryan is without Wales blindside/number eight Ross Moriarty after he needed surgery after an ankle injury that happened on international duty in the autumn.

Talisman Ollie Griffiths faces a spell on the sidelines after also suffering an issue with his right ankle against Wasps and Ben Fry is out after surgery on a torn bicep.

Aaron Wainwright and in-form Harrison Keddie are unavailable because of the Dragons’ coronavirus issues, which leaves the management with few options for Bordeaux.

Stalwart Lewis Evans made a sudden return against Wasps when Wainwright and Keddie were forced to withdraw, with the 33-year-old playing his first full 80 minutes since October 2019.

He is likely to retain his starting spot and could move to number eight with Taine Basham at openside and Huw Taylor back in the mix at blindside after suffering a knock in the PRO14 win in Glasgow.

The popular Benjamin looks set for a return on the bench after being a victim of the Dragons’ strength in depth in recent times.

The Wales Sevens international remains one of their most savvy attackers, which led to previous boss Bernard Jackman experimenting with the 26-year-old from Rogerstone in midfield in the Celtic Cup.

Benjamin made his Dragons debut against Wasps in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2013 and has made 64 appearances.

His best campaign was in Jackman's first season when he played 24 times after being key in the desire for a more expansive approach, with the flanker captaining the side for the first time at Munster.

The only other back rower in the registered European squad is George Young, a 19-year-old academy prospect who played in the A game against the Scarlets in October but is yet to make his Dragons debut.