PROMISING forward Ryan Woodman is unlikely to play for the Dragons again this season after a serious thumb injury that has denied him the chance to lead Wales Under-20s in the Six Nations.

The blindside/lock, who has been on the radar of senior boss Warren Gatland, was poised to retain the captaincy for the Welsh young guns but that honour will instead go to club teammate Harri Ackerman.

That is after Woodman suffered a blow to his left hand in the second half of the 29-9 defeat to the Sharks in the Challenge Cup on Sunday.

The 19-year-old from Caldicot will have surgery on Wednesday and is expected to be out for four months, which would take him up to the final games of the United Rugby Championship.

Woodman is instead likely to target a return in this summer World Rugby U20 Championship.

South Wales Argus: STARTER: Ryan Woodman started his first Dragons game at MunsterSTARTER: Ryan Woodman started his first Dragons game at Munster (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

The injury is a blow to the talented forward who has made real strides this season after getting a taste of senior rugby with a pair of outings off the bench in 2022/23.

Woodman made his first start against Munster in Cork, when he scored a try, and has put in some impressive performances.

Head coach Dai Flanagan said: “It’s obviously a very disappointing outcome for Ryan, who has really stepped up this season and made his mark with Dragons.

“I know Ryan is also very proud to captain his country at Under-20s level and would have been looking forward to the upcoming Six Nations.

“He will undergo surgery later this week and then have our full support and backing as he commences his return to full fitness. We send him our best wishes for his recovery.”

He faces a spell on the sidelines but six of his fellow Dragons prospects are ready for international rugby after being named in the 37-strong squad for the Six Nations.

Centre Ackerman is captain and is joined in Richard Whiffin’s group by full-back Huw Anderson, wings Harry Rees-Weldon and Walker Price, Jordan Morris and lock Nick Thomas.

Ebbw Vale back rower Owen Conquer also gets the nod after catching the eye in the Premiership.

Dragons academy and Newprt RFC coach Sam Hobbs will also be in charge of the forwards as one of Whiffin's assistants along with Scott Sneddon and Richie Pugh.

“He’s been integral to the pathway over the last few years, being heavily involved through U18s and this is a good step up for him to take on the U20s," said Whiffin about ex-prop Hobbs.

"He has a great knowledge of the pathway and the players around it and he has been invaluable to me so far."



Freddie Chapman (Ospreys), Jordan Morris (Dragons), Josh Morse (Scarlets), Louie Trevett (Bristol Bears), Harry Thomas (Scarlets), Evan Wood (Cardiff Met), Will Austin (Sale Sharks), Kian Hire (Ospreys), Sam Scott (Midlands Central), Patrick Nelson (RGC), Johnny Green (Harlequins), Lewis Marsh (Ospreys), Nick Thomas (Dragons), Tom Golder (Harlequins), Osian Thomas (Leicester Tigers), Will Plessis (Scarlets), Lucas de la Rua (Cardiff Rugby), Harri Beddall (Leicester Tigers), Luca Giannini (Scarlets), Morgan Morse (Ospreys), Owen Conquer (Ebbw Vale)

BACKS (16)

Ieuan Davies (Bath Rugby), Rhodri Lewis (Ospreys), Lucca Setarro (Scarlets), Harri Wilde (Cardiff Rugby), Harri Ford (RGC), Harri Ackerman (Dragons – captain), Macs Page (Scarlets), Louie Hennessey (Bath Rugby), Gabe McDonald (Scarlets), Harry Rees-Weldon (Dragons), Walker Price (Dragons), Aiden Boschoff (Bristol Bears), Kodi Stone (Cardiff Rugby), Scott Delnevo (Aberavon), Huw Anderson (Dragons), Matty Young (Cardiff Rugby).