RAPID Dragons full-back David Richards has earned more chances after being flung in at the deep end in Llanelli, says boss Dean Ryan.

The 22-year-old made his professional debut with a brief cameo against Gloucester in the European Challenge Cup but was called into action early on against the Scarlets on Saturday.

Josh Lewis lasted just 11 minutes after being hit high by Jonathan Davies, leading to Richards slotting into the back three with wings Jared Rosser and Rio Dyer.

The former Monmouth School pupil has caught the eye with Newport RFC in the Premiership and produced an assured display in a United Rugby Championship derby.

"Dai has showed the form to warrant getting a chance," said Ryan.

"I thought that he was somebody that might have broken the game at the Scarlets but the most comforting thing for him is that he was in the right place more often than not.

"As a young man, those are the things that you need to get right and he definitely warrants another go at some stage soon.

"We probably didn't trust that pace enough when having him, Jared and Rio out wide, certainly when the Scarlets were down to 13 and caused them all sorts of problems.

"He is definitely somebody that we think a lot of, or we wouldn't put him in this environment."

Jordan Williams is set to be back from illness for the return game against the Scarlets in Newport on Saturday while Jonah Holmes is on the comeback trail from a hamstring strain.

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However, Richards is a player of potential who the Dragons hope will profit from games in the URC and Premiership.

"Dai is somebody who has had a poor history with injury over the last few years," said Ryan.

"We have tried to rehab him through that, which has robbed him of some experiences, but he is starting to get consistency with Newport.

"He has definitely got something different to other people with his pace and ability to break through but we also have to get him up to speed with the requirements for his role in the URC.

"We definitely look 12 months down the line and hope he can stay injury-free so that he can continue to learn, because he is somebody with real potential."

Richards is a talent with ball in hand but will also need to deliver in the basics at 15, knowing when and where to back himself.

That is something that livewire full-back Williams has developed through the years to earn the praise of his boss.

"Dai is slightly diff to Jordan, who has a fantastic skill set whereas Dai has more pace," said Ryan.

"He has to work out how to insert himself into the game through playing more games and staying away from injury so that he can grow."