OLLIE Griffiths feared he would already be on the beach because of injury, instead the Dragons back rower will lead the charge at the Ospreys thanks to a brief trip to a holiday resort.

The 27-year-old from Newbridge starts at number eight in tomorrow's United Rugby Championship clash in Swansea.

The return of the dynamic back rower is especially welcome given the list of absentees against the fully-loaded Ospreys – a fit and firing Griffiths should ensure the Dragons at least land a few blows out west.

Yet it looked in March that he wouldn't take to the field again until next season after being forced off against the Bulls.

Griffiths had already got through a mountain of work in Pretoria when he went down after tackling hard-running centre Harold Vorster, in a collision that boss Dean Ryan likened to a "truck smash".

South Wales Argus: Dragons back rower Ollie GriffithsDragons back rower Ollie Griffiths

"My knee just got caught under me in a tackle and pulled my groin. To be honest I did think that it was the season over for me, it felt quite bad at the time," he admitted.

"Fortunately rehab has gone really well and i will catch the last few games of the season and ended up not missing too many."

The secret to that? Nipping off to Dubai.

Griffiths' appetite for the gym is notorious but the Dragons allowed him to switch off and have reaped the rewards.

"Rehab was at the early stages and there wasn't an awful lot I could do. The deal was that as long as I cracked on with my stuff out there, which I did, then I could go," said Griffiths.

"It turned out really well because it probably knocked two or three weeks off my return to play. I was doing all my stuff out there and have managed to catch the end of the season, so it's win-win.

"Call it rehab camp! I had certain things I needed to tick off and was getting up early in the morning.

"It was nice to have a break and do what I needed to do, it's put me in a good place."

South Wales Argus: Dragons back rower Ollie GriffithsDragons back rower Ollie Griffiths

Griffiths has had more than his fair share of injury misfortune but has the ability to hit the ground running on his return.

The Dragons will hope that he does the same in Swansea when joining forces with in-form captain Harri Keddie and Wales flanker Taine Basham in the back row.

"As long as you're up and running and S&Cs and the physios are doing good sessions with you, which we've got here, I don't see any reason why when you come back into the squad you can't be as fit as when playing," said Griffiths.

"There's so much data now, GPS and contact-wise, that you can replicate the game on the training field.

"I know it's a bit different getting your time back with tackles and the skills but physically I feel in a good place."

He will hope the Dragons are still in a good place come 5pm tomorrow after an encounter with formidable Ospreys 23.

The hosts hammered the Scarlets last weekend and boast plenty of power in the tight five while the visitors are fresh from defeat at Zebre, the latest miserable episode in a horror campaign.

"It has been a tough season, there is no hiding from that, but we are looking to finish on a high and give everything that we have got," said Griffiths.

"Not many people were expecting us to go away and beat the Scarlets but that showed that it doesn't matter what has happened in the past, anything can happen on the day.

"We've just to get our own house in order. They have a great driving maul so we need good discipline to limit the amount of times they get to use that weapon.

"We want to go there and play but to do that we have to perform defensively against a lot of threats."