THE Dragons will be without Wales forwards Leon Brown, Will Rowlands and Ben Carter for their United Rugby Championship finale against the Lions despite the trio getting Test call-ups.

Tighthead Brown and lock Rowlands have missed the last three games after suffering shoulder injuries against the Scarlets while second rower Carter came off against Cardiff last Friday, also with a shoulder issue.

The trio were named by Wales boss Wayne Pivac in his 33-strong squad for July's three-Test tour of South Africa along with Dragons flanker Taine Basham.

They won't feature against the Lions at Rodney Parade on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) but should be fine to link up with the international squad to start preparations for the Springboks clashes.

The Dragons are also without lock Joe Davies after his red card for a high hit on Cardiff prop Rhys Carre in the first quarter of the 19-18 defeat.

That means Huw Taylor, a flanker by trade, is set to join forces with Joe Maksymiw in the second row, backed up by Max Williams.

South Wales Argus: Dragons forward Huw TaylorDragons forward Huw Taylor

"It's a huge challenge and we can't hide from that. I look forward to those guys taking the opportunity to show what they can do," said director of rugby Dean Ryan.

"We have lost three frontline guys but I can't speak highly enough of Huw and the way that he adapted last week.

"It's another opportunity for him to put a marker down about his role as a second row, while Joe has played plenty of rugby for us and Max is gladly back from injury."

The Dragons lost to the Stormers in Newport last autumn and were beaten by the Bulls and Sharks in a South African double-header after the Six Nations.

They have struggled to cope with the power game and Ryan expects the Lions, who cannot qualify for the play-offs, to use the same blueprint.

"The South Africa model doesn't change massively, we are expecting a pretty physical contest up front with the scrum, drive and the ball carrying," he said.

The Dragons are also without Wales back rowers Aaron Wainwright (ankle) and Ross Moriarty (knee), who will miss the South Africa tour through injury.

The teams are named at midday on Friday.