NEW dad Jamie Roberts will miss the Dragons’ clash against Guinness PRO14 champions Leinster tomorrow evening with bright prospect Aneurin Owen making his first start in midfield.

Roberts and fiancée Nicole Ramson announced the arrival of their son Tomos Rhys on Wednesday.

The former Wales and Lions centre has been engrossed in domestic chaos since the start of the week rather than preparations for the Leinster machine, so will sit out the daunting fixture at Rodney Parade (kick-off 7.35pm).

Highly-rated centre Owen, who had been earmarked to join forces with Roberts against Edinburgh last week only for the fixture to be postponed because of a frozen pitch, will partner Jack Dixon.

South Wales Argus: TALENTED: Aneurin Owen will make his first Dragons startTALENTED: Aneurin Owen will make his first Dragons start

The 20-year-old from Newport made his professional debut off the bench against Bordeaux-Begles in December and has made further appearances against the Scarlets and Connacht as a replacement.

The Dragons are boosted by the return of Wales speedster Jonah Holmes from concussion but are still down to the bare bones in the back row, meaning that lock Matthew Screech starts at blindside flanker.

The absence of Aaron Wainwright (Six Nations), Ross Moriarty (ankle), Ollie Griffiths (ankle), Harri Keddie (concussion), Taine Basham (fractured forearm), Lewis Evans (calf), Lennon Greggains (shoulder) and James Benjamin (leg) leads to Screech, Ben Fry and Huw Taylor forming a workmanlike back row.

Dan Baker has been signed until the end of the season but the former Ospreys number eight, who spent the first half of the campaign in France’s second tier with Stade Montois, is on the bench.

Fellow new recruits Gonzalo Bertranou and Ioan Davies are given another week to settle in rather than being flung in against the formidable Irish province.

Strong-running centre Connor Edwards could profit from Roberts’ absence with a first outing of the season from the bench.

Leinster are boosted by the presence of Ireland trio Ryan Baird, Ross Byrne and Jack Conan after they were released by the national side to get game time in Six Nations rest week.

Their strength is shown by the presence of seasoned international forwards Devin Toner and Scott Fardy on the bench.

Leinster lead Conference A with a solitary loss to Connacht from 11 games. They beat the Dragons 35-5 at the Royal Dublin Society on the opening weekend of the season.

Dragons: J Williams; J Holmes, A Owen, J Dixon, A Hewitt; S Davies, R Williams; B Harris, R Hibbard, L Fairbrother, J Davies, B Carter, M Screech, B Fry, H Taylor. Replacements: E Shipp, G Bateman, C Coleman, J Maksymiw, D Baker, L Baldwin, J Lewis, C Edwards.

Leinster: M O'Reilly; C Kelleher, R O'Loughlin, R Byrne, D Kearney; H Byrne, L McGrath (captain); P Dooley, J Tracy, M Bent, R Molony, R Baird, J Murphy, S Penny, J Conan.
Replacements: D Sheehan, M Hanan, T Clarkson, D Toner, S Fardy, R Osborne, D Hawkshaw, J Osborne.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)