THE Dragons will be boosted by the return of Nick Tompkins against the Scarlets on New Year's Day – but they are still set to be without influential half-backs Rhodri Williams and Sam Davies.

Wales centre Tompkins missed the 13-12 Boxing Day defeat to Cardiff Blues on compassionate grounds, leading to boss Dean Ryan fielding specialist 12s Jamie Roberts and Jack Dixon together.

The 25-year-old, who is on a season-long loan from Saracens, returned to training in Ystrad Mynach today and is likely to slot straight back into the XV in Llanelli.

"Nick has been brilliant since day one here," said forwards coach Luke Narraway. "He comes from a very strong cultural environment at Saracens.

"He is a top, top man and has been good for our group. Nick came back into training and fitted in seamlessly and is definitely one of our leaders."

South Wales Argus:

The return of eight-times capped Tompkins – who could go head-to-head with Wales teammate Jonathan Davies – is a huge boost but the Dragons look set to be without their first-choice half-back partnership of Williams and Davies.

Scrum-half Williams missed the Blues derby after coming into close contact with an individual that tested positive for coronavirus.

The captain's isolation period will not give him enough time to return against his old side, meaning Tavis Knoyle and Luke Baldwin will be the scrum-halves on duty.

Davies was pulled out of the Champions Cup loss in Bordeaux-Begles as a precaution because of a calf strain.

The left-footer did not recover in time to face the Blues and is yet to return to training, so Josh Lewis is likely to pull the strings on his old stamping ground with novice Evan Lloyd his back up.

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"Sam didn't train today and I'm not sure how long that [injury] will be," said Narraway. "Rhodri will be back after he has served his isolation, but that would be too close for the Scarlets."

The Dragons had their weekly coronavirus tests today and will get their results tomorrow.

Three fixtures in the Guinness PRO14 – Glasgow v Edinburgh, Zebre v Benetton and Munster v Leinster – were postponed last weekend because of positives and isolation.

The Dragons will hope to get the green light for Friday's trip to Parc y Scarlets, where they have never won.

"Hopefully we will be concentrating on playing the Scarlets rather than the conditions," said Narraway, referring to the torrential rain and strong wind that made it a dour clash against the Blues.

"Derbies are often one-score games and there is a lot of emotion, with a lot riding on them.

"Last year we had some good results in the derbies but we narrowly missed out against Cardiff, so we've got to make sure we continue to improve and continue to learn.

"We were two from three [in the festive derbies] last year and there are still two to play this year.

"We are going against a very good Scarlets team but hopefully we can learn from Cardiff and pose them some questions."