DRAGONS lock Joe Davies has been cleared for the start of next season after being banned for three games for a high shot.

The 26-year-old from Caldicot was shown a red card for catching Cardiff prop Rhys Carre in the jaw when clearing out at a ruck.

The incident in the 16th minute was spotted by the TMO and referee Craig Evans was left with a straightforward decision to dismiss the Dragons man in the 19-18 defeat at Rodney Parade.

A United Rugby Championship disciplinary hearing deemed that it was worth a six-week suspension but that was reduced to three due to Davies accepting it was worthy of red, his good disciplinary record and apology to Carre.

He will have another game chalked off the suspension when he completes a World Rugby coaching intervention programme.

The lock misses the URC finale against the Lions and will also be ruled out of the Dragons’ first pre-season friendly.

Hard-working Davies has been a mainstay of the side under Dean Ryan, making 52 appearances over the last three seasons, but faces a battle for match action next season.

Sean Lonsdale and George Nott have been signed from Exeter and London Irish respectively to join Wales locks Will Rowlands and Ben Carter.

Meanwhile, Liam Belcher has been given the same suspension as Davies for his high shot on Will Reed at the end of the first half of the derby.

The hooker flew into the fly-half with a horrendous challenge in the 37th minute and was sent off by Mr Evans.

It was deemed that Belcher, who played for the Dragons in 2017/18, should be banned for six weeks but he also got his suspension halved after saying sorry to Reed.

Like Davies, three weeks will turn into two by completing a coaching course.