THE Dragons are without influential tighthead Lloyd Fairbrother for tomorrow's key European Challenge Cup clash with Zebre Parma – and Wales international Leon Brown has been overlooked as his replacement.

Stalwart Fairbrother misses the trip to Italy because of a calf problem and head coach Dai Flanagan gives the 3 jersey to Luke Yendle with Chris Coleman as his back-up.

Brown, a contender for a Six Nations spot when Warren Gatland names his squad next week, has been dropped from the matchday 23. It is a selection call and not an injury.

The 27-year-old tighthead has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons and was penalised four times at the scrum in the tense 13-12 win against the Scarlets after coming on for the final quarter.

Brown, who has been linked with a move to Bristol, is overlooked for the trip to Parma with Flanagan making three changes to his XV.

South Wales Argus: OUT AND IN: Leon Brown misses out for the Dragons but Rhodri Jones startsOUT AND IN: Leon Brown misses out for the Dragons but Rhodri Jones starts (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

Wales wing Rio Dyer is back from concussion and slots in on the right flank with Ewan Rosser dropping down to the bench.

The props are changed with Rhodri Jones starting at loosehead and Rodrigo Martinez given the role of impact sub while Yendle gets a huge chance at tighthead.

The 23-year-old from Caerphilly makes his seventh appearance of the season and gets a first start since Munster in November, when Fairbrother was with Wales and Brown was injured.

Flanagan rewards the starters that edged out the Scarlets but hands a recall to Wales hooker Bradley Roberts as a replacement after he was dropped from the 23 for a poor performance in the hammering at Cardiff.

He backs up James Benjamin with Six Nations hopeful Elliot Dee still absent after a rib problem, with a possible return against the Sharks a week on Sunday.

Club captain Steff Hughes is back from concussion to be on the bench with the Dragons reverting to a 5-3 split after going with six forwards against the Scarlets. Lock Matthew Screech also returns from concussion to be a replacement.

Zebre: Lorenzo Pani; Pierre Bruno, Luca Morisi (captain), Enrico Lucchin, Simone Gesi; Giovanni Montemauri, Gonzalo Garcia; Danilo Fischetti, Marco Manfredi, Matteo Nocera; Leonard Krumov, Andrea Zambonin, Guido Volpi, Iacopo Bianchi, Davide Ruggeri.

Replacements: Gampietro Ribaldi, Luca Rizzoli, Juan Pitinari, Matteo Canali, Giacomo Ferrari, Thomas Dominguez, Geronimo Prisciantelli, Scott Gregory.

Dragons: Cai Evans; Rio Dyer, Aneurin Owen, Harri Ackerman, Jared Rosser; Will Reed, Rhodri Williams (captain); Rhodri Jones, James Benjamin, Luke Yendle, Sean Lonsdale, George Nott, Dan Lydiate, Harri Keddie, Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Bradley Roberts, Rodrigo Martinez, Chris Coleman, Matthew Screech, Ollie Griffiths, Dane Blacker, Steff Hughes, Ewan Rosser.

Referee: Benoit Rousselet (France)

Dragons injury list: David Richards (back), Ashton Hewitt (knee), Sio Tomkinson (neck), Jack Dixon (knock), Angus O'Brien (arm), Gonzalo Bertranou (knee), Josh Reynolds (pec), Elliot Dee (ribs), Lloyd Fairbrother (calf), Ben Carter (hamstring).