A GLUT of stellar back row forwards will watch this evening's Guinness PRO14 derby from their homes yet Dragons boss Dean Ryan fields a man he believes allows others to be 'Harlem Globetrotters'.

The home side will be without Ollie Griffiths, Ross Moriarty and Taine Basham at Rodney Parade while the Ospreys have rested Wales and Lions flankers Justin Tipuric and Dan Lydiate (kick-off 5.15pm).

The Dragons still have the dynamic Aaron Wainwright in their XV, starting at number eight, and are led by arguably their player of the season so far.

Harri Keddie has started every Guinness PRO14 fixture and only missed out against Wasps and Bordeaux-Begles because of coronavirus.

The 24-year-old is now first name on director of rugby Ryan's teamsheet.

"I think that because we have got so many good back rowers we overlook Harrison," said Ryan, who was a back row forward in his playing days.

South Wales Argus: LEADER: Harri KeddieLEADER: Harri Keddie

"When I came in I thought Harrison was a young man that had been very good in age-group rugby but had hit a wall a little bit, had some injuries and had a lack of confidence of whether he was playing or not.

"He has just grown from strength to strength. Harrison is one of those players that glues a lot of other players together.

"If you create a team full of Harlem Globetrotters you don't get much done. That's not a disservice to Harrison I think he's a really good glue for people.

"His work rate is phenomenal, his physicality, his accuracy and his intellect on the game is really something that has grown in the last 12 months.

"That allows a lot of other people to do their thing around Harrison, I think he has really been the catalyst for back row performances. I'm really pleased with his progress."

Keddie and Wainwright are joined in the back row by blindside Huw Taylor this evening with stalwart Lewis Evans on the bench after having to self-isolate last week.

The Dragons are aiming to avoid a derby whitewash after losing to Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day and the Scarlets on New Year's Day.