WALES star Dan Lydiate has pushed himself into contention for a rapid return for the Dragons against Cardiff after coming back from the World Cup with a bang.

The 35-year-old flanker is back with the Rodney Parade club after being released by the Ospreys at the end of last season.

Lydiate spent the summer with Wales and made one appearance at the World Cup when he started against Portugal.

The mid-Walian linked up with his new teammates on Monday and head coach Dai Flanagan is giving serious consideration to including the combative back rower in the home United Rugby Championship derby against Cardiff on Sunday (kick-off 2.30pm).

The Dragons need to respond to their opening weekend disappointment against Edinburgh and chop-tackling Lydiate, whose last appearance for the club was in Edinburgh in 2013,ย would undoubtedly give them a lift in a physical derby.

"He wants to play and he is up for selection, we just have to make the right decision for the team and the group," said Flanagan, who is still without Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham, Elliot Dee and Rio Dyer after World Cup duty.

"His physicality is second to none and what has been impressive is his ability to learn so quickly.

"Dan has had two days with us and has picked up near enough everything, he doesn't look a step off beat. That is why he is a British Lion and why he has been a top-end international for so long.

South Wales Argus: Dragons flanker Dan Lydiate training with Wales at the World CupDragons flanker Dan Lydiate training with Wales at the World Cup (Image: Press Association)"Regarding selection, we have a group of players who have done 22 weeks of work for these two games. We have to do what is right for the group.

โ€œCulturally, is it right for the other players for him to come in? If he adds to us to help win the game, it might outweigh that, so it's a big decision."

Tighthead prop Leon Brown could make his return to the matchday 23 after being left out on opening weekend.

The Dragons started with Lloyd Fairbrother and brought novice Luke Yendle off the bench in the 22-17 loss to Edinburgh.

Brown would add firepower to the bench as he builds up his game time following an injury-ravaged 2022/23 in which he had neck surgery and made just three club appearances plus a Six Nations outing.

Wing Ashton Hewitt is also in the mix after a niggle meant he missed the pre-season wins against the Ospreys and Scarlets but the Dragons have suffered a blow in the back three.

Full-back Cai Evans, who has been named as fly-half cover for Walesโ€™ international against the Barbarians on November 4, will miss the derby after suffering a concussion in the final quarter of the defeat to Edinburgh.

The regulations state that the summer signing could play in Sundayโ€™s derby but Flanagan has continued his policy of sitting players out after head injury assessments.

"It's my belief and we need to treat our people well and correctly," said the head coach.

"We had one quick turnaround that didn't work out very well and the guy had a long period off [Angus O'Brien last winter]. That reconfirmed my belief about how to deal with these situations."

The loss of Evans will see either Angus Oโ€™Brien move to 15 with Will Reed coming in at fly-half or Jordan Williams could come in at full-back.