MISFIRING kicker Sam Davies has been given a vote of confidence by boss Dean Ryan as the Dragons bid to "stay alive" in the race for the Champions Cup.

The Rodney Parade region play the second of three Guinness PRO14 fixtures at Principality Stadium when they entertain Glasgow tomorrow afternoon.

They need to beat the Warriors if they are to overtake the Scots and claim fourth place in Conference A.

Every point will be key but fly-half Davies has struggled from the tee recently and was two from four in the 26-22 defeat to Ulster last weekend.

The Wales international won the PRO14 golden boot when with the Ospreys in 2017 and is currently fourth in the league for points but down in 25th for accuracy.

Davies has a success rate of just 64 per cent but that is similar to last season when he finished with 66 per cent.

His left foot was pivotal in dramatic wins against Worcester, the Scarlets and Cheetahs in 2020/21 and director of rugby Ryan is backing his man, despite Josh Lewis being another strong candidate from full-back.

Sam Davies was the hero at the death against the Scarlets last year

Sam Davies was the hero at the death against the Scarlets last year

"We are aware of our strengths with other people that can kick but we are also aware of supporting people when things aren't going that well for them," said the boss.

"At some stage we all have a magnifying glass over certain parts of our game and the best way to feel is supported over that period.

"We've no problem continuing with Sam but while also knowing what other options are.

"That's the challenge of putting yourself up [to kick] – the accolades come when it's going well and the criticism comes when it isn't."

The meeting between the sides in December showed how important goalkicking is – the Dragons took the spoils when Brandon Thomson missed a simple match-winning conversion with the clock in the red.

Ryan's men not only need to beat Glasgow but be mindful of bonus points if they are to overturn the Scots' four-point lead.

The Warriors have a game to play against struggling Benetton while the Dragons finish against Edinburgh in Cardiff next weekend.

The club that finishes fourth will face a waiting game to see if the PRO14 has eight spots in next season's premier European tournament.

Dragons boss Dean Ryan

Dragons boss Dean Ryan

"It's a bit bizarre that we are at the end of a season and we still don't know," said Ryan about the decision, which rests with European Professional Club Rugby and not the PRO14.

"For us to miss this year's experience in the Champions Cup [when hit by a Covid outbreak], it's really important to get there again.

"We have a huge desire to get back there and have to still be alive after this weekend. We can't make third but let's see if we can stay alive for as long as we can."

The Dragons have made four changes to the side that was edged out by Ulster with number eight Ross Moriarty and wing Ashton Hewitt back from injury while Gonzalo Bertranou gets the nod at scrum-half and Matthew Screech comes in at lock.

Centre Nick Tompkins, who set up Jonah Holmes at the death with an interception against Ulster, is once again a replacement after not being selected by Wales for their Grand Slam bid in France.

Glasgow are boosted by the return of co-captain Fraser Brown, who makes his first appearance since suffering a neck injury with Scotland in the Autumn Nations Cup.

The Warriors also include Adam Hastings at full-back after he was given a three-match suspension for a high boot when claiming a ball against Leinster.

Dragons: J Lewis; J Holmes, A Owen, J Roberts, A Hewitt; S Davies, G Bertranou; B Harris, R Hibbard, L Fairbrother, J Davies, M Screech, H Keddie (captain), O Griffiths, R Moriarty.

Replacements: R Lawrence, J Reynolds, C Coleman, B Carter, B Fry, R Williams, N Tompkins, J Williams.

Glasgow: A Hastings; R McLean, N Grigg, R Fergusson, L Jones; R Thompson, S Kennedy; A Seiuli, F Brown, E Pieretto, R Gray, K McDonald, R Harley, T Gordon, R Wilson (captain).

Replacements: G Stewart, D Evans, D Rae, L Nakarawa, F Lokotui, J Dobie, P Horne, O Smith.