WALES hooker Elliot Dee has joined the Dragons’ injury list for the South Africa double-header in the United Rugby Championship.

Head coach Dai Flanagan has named a 30-strong squad for Saturday’s clash with the Sharks at Kings Park in Durban and the fixture against the Lions in Johannesburg.

However, Wales hooker Elliot Dee will stay at home to rehab a rib injury suffered when coming off the bench in the win against the Ospreys.

The front rower, who has made two appearances since returning from World Cup duty, is expected to be fine for the start of the European Challenge Cup in December.

Wales lock Ben Carter was forced off with a hamstring injury in the opening exchanges against the Ospreys and misses out, with the full extent of the blow yet to be confirmed.

South Wales Argus: OUT: Dragons and Wales forwards Leon Brown, far left, and Ben Carter, third from left), are injuredOUT: Dragons and Wales forwards Leon Brown, far left, and Ben Carter, third from left), are injured (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

The frustrating wait for the return of tighthead Leon Brown continues with the powerful prop, who endured an injury-hit 2022/23 after needing neck surgery, listed as being absent due to a calf strain.

His sole appearance of this season was as a replacement against Cardiff.

Argentina scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou, who is yet to play this season after his World Cup exertions, suffered a blow in training on Monday and won’t travel while centre Jack Dixon also stays in Ystrad Mynach to rehab a knock.

Flanagan had already confirmed that Wales and Lions blindside Dan Lydiate would miss out because of a rib injury.

The Dragons are also without Wales flanker Taine Basham while he serves the second and third fixtures of a four-game ban for a dangerous challenge against Leinster that led to a red card.

Scrum-half Lewis Jones is back from a cheekbone injury to provide competition for Dane Blacker and Rhodri Williams while back rower Harri Keddie and full-back Jordan Williams also return.

Loosehead Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths, a 20-year-old who has been playing for Pontypool in the Premiership, is named alongside Rhodri Jones and Aki Seiuli in the absence of Rodrigo Martinez and Josh Reynolds.

Flanagan’s men travel to South Africa buoyed by their derby triumph after starting the season with four defeats.

South Wales Argus: RELIEF: The Dragons after the win against the Ospreys at Rodney ParadeRELIEF: The Dragons after the win against the Ospreys at Rodney Parade (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“We’re looking forward to the trip and the two games on the back of a positive performance and result against Ospreys,” said the head coach.

“It’s a big challenge first up against the Sharks, it’s a big stadium and they have a team of superstars, whoever plays for them.

“It’s a test we are excited by, and the result will look after itself. What is important is that we perform well and continue the momentum we built against Ospreys.

“We’ll then travel to Cape Town for a training week before the game in Johannesburg against Lions, which will be another huge test for us before our attention turns to European competition.”

Dragons' South Africa touring party

Forwards: Rhodri Jones, Aki Seiuli, Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths, Bradley Roberts, James Benjamin, Brodie Coghlan, Lloyd Fairbrother, Chris Coleman, Luke Yendle, Matthew Screech, Joe Davies, George Nott, Sean Lonsdale, Harri Keddie, Ryan Woodman, Ollie Griffiths, Aaron Wainwright

Backs: Dane Blacker, Rhodri Williams, Lewis Jones, Will Reed, Cai Evans, Aneurin Owen, Corey Baldwin, Steff Hughes (captain), Sio Tomkinson, Rio Dyer, Ashton Hewitt, Ewan Rosser, Jordan Williams

Unavailable (14): Harri Ackerman (shoulder), Taine Basham (suspension), Gonzalo Bertranou (knock), Leon Brown (calf), Ben Carter (hamstring), Elliot Dee (ribs), Jack Dixon (knock), Dan Lydiate (ribs), Rodrigo Martinez (calf), Angus O’Brien (arm), Josh Reynolds (pec), Jared Rosser (knock), David Richards (back), Joe Westwood (leg).