THE Dragons will bring Wales forwards Taine Basham and Leon Brown in from the cold for Sunday’s key Challenge Cup clash with the Sharks before they head off for the Six Nations.

The Rodney Parade club will be eliminated from the competition if they fail to claim a match point in Newport (kick-off 5.30pm).

They will know by Saturday evening exactly what is required courtesy of the games between Pool One bottom club Oyonnax and second-placed Cheetahs and third-placed Zebre’s trip to fourth-placed Pau.

The Dragons failure to win in Parma leaves them with a tough task against a Sharks side hunting home advantage in the knockout stages.

They romped to victory 69-14 in the United Rugby Championship meeting between the sides in Durban after including South Africa World Cup winners Eben Etzebeth, Ox Nche, Makazole Mapimpi, Lukhanyo Am, Jaden Hendrikse and Grant Williams.

The Sharks, who are bottom of the URC, are sure to bring a powerful side and Basham and Brown will bolster the Dragons before heading off for Six Nations duty.

South Wales Argus: CONTENDER: Back rower Taine Basham is set to face the Sharks with the DragonsCONTENDER: Back rower Taine Basham is set to face the Sharks with the Dragons (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

Basham, a travelling reserve at Zebre, has not featured since an under-par performance in the Boxing Day humiliation at Cardiff.

Brown was dropped for the trip to Parma after coming on for the final quarter of the New Year’s Day derby win against the Scarlets and then being penalised four times at the scrum.

However, both were selected by Warren Gatland on Tuesday and will head off for Test duty with club minutes under their belt.

“They will both be involved this weekend. We set them both individual tasks about their games to work on in training,” said head coach Dai Flanagan.

“We want to create an environment where if you play well, you keep the shirt. If you don't play well, someone is ready.

“We saw that with Luke Yendle at Zebre against a loosehead [Danilo Fischetti] who is one of the best in the URC. Luke did a good job.

“Leon was set certain tasks at the set piece and the game. He has gone above expectations of the coaches and has earned the right to have a go.”

Basham was always likely to return against the Sharks but the back rower is needed because of doubts in the pack.

“There are a few that are touch and go in the back five of the scrum,” said Flanagan. “Dan Lydiate and George Nott had to come off early with bangs and Harri Keddie is beaten up. There are some banged-up bodies and there may be a bit of rotation.”

The teams are named at midday on Friday.