DRAGONS stalwart Adam Warren is aiming to fill the void left by Wales centre Nick Tompkins in the Rainbow Cup.

The 30-year-old, who is in talks over a contract extension, has been out of action since suffering a groin injury at Benetton in November.

Warren has watched on while Jamie Roberts, Aneurin Owen, Jack Dixon and Tompkins have featured in midfield but he hopes to soon be a rival.

The centre/wing is not yet back in full training and will not feature in the Rainbow Cup opener against the Scarlets on Sunday.

South Wales Argus:

However, he is pushing towards a return for competitive action before the end of the season with the target of featuring in a Welsh derby in May.

The return is timely after Tompkins was recalled from his loan by Saracens, who are taking no risks in their bid to return to the English Premiership at the first attempt.

Warren has been a huge hit at Rodney Parade since signing from the Scarlets in the summer of 2015, racking up 117 appearances and being a model of consistency.

The one-capped Wales international has provided value for money and before this season had steered clear of major injuries, with his previous ‘low’ for outings being 16 in 2017/18.

Warren is one man that would be pleased to see the Rainbow Cup continue even without the four South African franchises of the Bulls, Sharks, Stormers and Lions.

The Guinness PRO14 was brought to an early end to slot in a new competition, which is six rounds and then a final.

However, it is now set to be played between the usual suspects in Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy because of the issues of travel from South Africa with the Dragons having three more rivals to play in addition to the derbies.

The initial Rainbow Cup schedule, which had not been confirmed, had Dean Ryan’s men playing Leinster and Glasgow again despite them already meeting home and away during the PRO14 campaign.

The Dragons host the Scarlets and then have another break while the European semi-finals are played.

They then travel to Cardiff and host the Ospreys with the remaining three fixtures yet to be published by the PRO14.