DEAN Ryan has opted for six-two split between forwards and backs on the Dragons bench in a bid to solve their struggles against Irish power against Ulster tomorrow evening.

The Rodney Parade region go on the road from Newport to Principality Stadium in Cardiff for the Guinness PRO14 fixtures (kick-off 7.35pm).

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Director of rugby Ryan has made three changes to the XV that stunned the Ospreys, two of them enforced with Rio Dyer replacing injured wing Ashton Hewitt and fit-again Ollie Griffiths coming in for Wales back row forward Aaron Wainwright.

Captain Rhodri Williams gets the nod ahead of Argentina scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou and he will be marshalling a pack that has added cover on the bench.

South Wales Argus: BENCH: Matthew Screech is back from injuryBENCH: Matthew Screech is back from injury

Lock Matthew Screech returns from a head injury at the expense of a back with Nick Tompkins, who has been released from Six Nations camp, the sole three-quarter.

The move is to try and counter Ulster’s direct power game, which led to them running riot in Belfast earlier this season.

The hosts ran up a 35-3 lead in the first half at Ravenhill before switching off and ‘only’ winning 40-17.

It is a theme of the Dragons’ games against the provinces with Ryan having lost all nine games against Irish opposition since taking the helm in the summer of 2019.

The Dragons have not beaten a side from Ireland since the 2017 win against Connacht and Ulster are unbeaten in nine against them.

“It's a huge challenge against the Irish sides in physicality and accuracy,” admitted Ryan. “They all play slightly differently but all have a huge amount of physicality to their game.

“We struggled out there and we can't hide away from that. They got over us way too easily and got pace from that.

“If that happens again this weekend then we will struggle to get any of our game going. It’s a huge challenge for us to keep momentum going.”

The Dragons have a confrontational back row of Griffiths, Harri Keddie and Ross Moriarty while hard-hitting former Wales and Lions powerhouse Jamie Roberts will be a key figure in midfield.

Full-back Josh Lewis is the cover for fly-half Sam Davies with centre Tompkins able to play wing, which would lead to Jonah Holmes shifting to 15.

Dragons: J Lewis; J Holmes, A Owen, J Roberts, R Dyer; S Davies, R Williams (captain); B Harris, R Hibbard, L Fairbrother, J Davies, J Maksymiw, H Keddie, O Griffiths, R Moriarty.

Replacements: R Lawrence, J Reynolds, A Jarvis, M Screech, B Carter, D Baker, G Bertranou, N Tompkins.

Ulster: J Stockdale; C Gilroy, S Moore, S McCloskey, R Lyttle; M Lowry, A Mathewson; E O'Sullivan, J Andrew, R Kane, A O'Connor (captain), K Treadwell, D McCann, S Reidy, N Timoney.

Replacements: B Roberts, C Reid, G Milasinovich, C Izuchukwu, M Rea, D Shanahan, I Madigan, E McIlroy.