THE Dragons have been boosted by the return of key duo Elliot Dee and Jack Dixon for tomorrow’s United Rugby Championship derby with Cardiff – while prop Lloyd Fairbrother is poised to end a year-long absence.

Dean Ryan’s men finish a nightmare campaign with a pair of home games with the men from the capital heading to Rodney Parade tomorrow (kick-off 7.35pm) before a clash against the Lions.

The Dragons, who have not won in Newport this season, make three changes to the XV that started strongly in the 50-31 defeat at the Ospreys on Sunday, when they at least left Swansea with a four-try bonus.

Wales hooker Dee is back from a calf strain to start while influential centre Jack Dixon has been passed fit after managing a foot problem.

South Wales Argus: YELLOW: Taine Basham was sin-binned at the OspreysYELLOW: Taine Basham was sin-binned at the Ospreys

The other change is in the back row where Wales international Taine Basham – sin-binned for a daft trip at the Ospreys – drops to the bench with Ben Fry getting the nod at openside.

The Dragons are still without Wales forwards Will Rowlands, Leon Brown and Ross Moriarty through injury while Aaron Wainwright has already been ruled out of the run-in and the summer tour to South Africa. 

Fly-half Will Reed keeps the 10 jersey with the 20-year-old set for a first Dragons appearance at Rodney Parade.

Tighthead Fairbrother makes a welcome return as a replacement after being out of action since rupturing his Achilles in the loss to Glasgow at Cardiff City Stadium last May.

With Wales tighthead Leon Brown and Chris Coleman injured, the 30-year-old Cornishman gets the nod as back-up to Mesake Doge ahead of Luke Yendle, who was an unused replacement in Swansea after spending the season on loan with Jersey.

Former Dragons hooker Liam Belcher makes his 50th appearance for Cardiff in an unchanged XV from the win over Zebre, including a start for lock Matthew Screech after he left Rodney Parade for the Arms Park last summer.

Dragons: J Williams; Dyer, Warren, Dixon, Rosser; Reed, Bertranou; Seiuli, Dee, Doge, J Davies, Carter, Keddie (captain), Fry, Griffiths.

Replacements: T Davies, Bateman, Fairbrother, Taylor, Basham, R Williams, S Davies, Lewis.

Cardiff: Morgan; Lane, Lee-Lo, Llewellyn, Cabango; Priestland, Williams; Carre, Belcher, Arhip, S Davies, Screech, Botham, Navidi (captain), Ratti.

Replacements: Myhill, Domachowski, D Lewis, Turnbull, Jenkins, Bevan, B Thomas, Grady.