DRAGONS boss Dean Ryan is frustrated that fly-half Josh Lewis was denied the chance to put the heat on last season's festive derby hero Sam Davies.

Lewis made his first Dragons appearance in the 10 jersey in 19 months in the Champions Cup clash against Bordeaux-Begles last weekend.

The 28-year-old was originally named at full-back but director of rugby Ryan made the late call to withdraw playmaker Davies as a precaution because of a calf strain.

That gave an opportunity for Lewis to pull the strings for the first time since helping the Dragons upset the odds against the Scarlets at Judgement Day in 2019.

The fly-half has started at full-back four times since making his return from injury but his chance in his primary position lasted just 28 minutes at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.

An injury to wing Jared Rosser led to the introduction of novice 10 Evan Lloyd with Lewis having to shift to full-back.

That denied him the chance to put the pressure on Davies, who was key to PRO14 wins at Benetton and Glasgow but who has struggled from the tee this season.

South Wales Argus: CHALLENGER: Fly-half Josh Lewis has performed strongly at full-backCHALLENGER: Fly-half Josh Lewis has performed strongly at full-back

"I was disappointed that Josh didn't get longer at 10," said director of rugby Ryan. "He has come in and done a really good job for us at full-back to steady the ship.

"I wanted to see more of him at 10 but the disruption of Jared going off moved the goalposts.

"It is very difficult to give him that run and continuity [at fly-half] that he desperately wants at a time when we are so low on numbers when he does such a good job at full-back.

"We all want him to put pressure on Sam because that's what drives change and drives improvement.

"The only way to do that is by getting clear opportunities and I was disappointed that he didn't get longer in that role."

Lewis is on standby to pull the strings against Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day if Davies isn't passed fit.

The Wales international was initially slated to not only start but captain the side in Bordeaux but Ryan changed his mind with the derbies in mind.

Davies made a stunning impact in the 2019/20 festive clashes, kicking a last-gasp drop goal against the Scarlets and then being a key figure in the late charge that did for his former Ospreys side.

The Dragons and Blues name their teams at midday.