THE Dragons’ back-row nightmare has got worse after flanker George Young was ruled out for the rest of the season, leaving them down to their last two fit and available specialists.

The Rodney Parade club are not in action this weekend and that gives head coach Dai Flanagan a bit of extra time to assess what to do for the trip to Ulster on March 2.

Dan Lydiate and Sean Lonsdale, both blindsides, are their only specialists as things stand, although the Dragons will hope that Taine Basham is released by Wales for game time.

Young was forced off just 10 minutes into his first professional start at Glasgow last weekend after tearing a pectoral muscle.

The openside suffered the blow when making a tackle and, after getting back into the defensive line while clutching his left arm, trudged off the field using his jersey as a makeshift sling.

The 22-year-old, who had made four appearances off the bench earlier in the campaign, will have surgery next week before making his comeback in pre-season.

South Wales Argus: George Young in pre-season training with the DragonsGeorge Young in pre-season training with the Dragons (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

Flanagan said: “It’s a big disappointment that George has suffered this unfortunate injury, especially at a time when he was pushing for an extended run in our match day squad.

“However, he is a driven young man who I know will work extremely hard to make a full recovery and return to action as soon as possible. We wish George well with his surgery and subsequent recovery.”

Young, son of former Newport RFC forward Robert, has made seven appearances along with 35 outings for the Black and Ambers, including their 2022 Premiership Cup triumph at Principality Stadium.

His injury leaves the Dragons seriously depleted for their trip to Ulster in the United Rugby Championship next Saturday.

Young’s injury led to them moving flanker-turned-hooker James Benjamin back to his former position at Scotstoun Stadium.

South Wales Argus: REJIG: The Dragons had Dan Lydiate at number eight and James Benjamin at openside in GlasgowREJIG: The Dragons had Dan Lydiate at number eight and James Benjamin at openside in Glasgow (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

Wales blindside Lydiate, who had to be shifted to number eight, was replaced later in the game and that led to debutant Sam Scarfe, also a hooker by trade, playing at openside next to Benjamin and lock/flanker Lonsdale.

The Dragons are without Aaron Wainwright and Basham because of the Six Nations, although it is possible that the latter may be released for the game in Belfast.

Last weekend Warren Gatland sent Mackenzie Martin out for game time and the Cardiff man is set for a Test debut off the bench in Ireland after being preferred to Basham, who got a cameo against England at Twickenham.

Wales might give the 24-year-old from Talywain a chance to get some minutes under his belt ahead of the France and Italy fixtures.

The Dragons could do with his dynamism due to their list of back row absentees with Young joining Wales Under-20s captain Ryan Woodman on the sidelines after he suffered a season-ending thumb injury against the Sharks in January.

Ollie Griffiths is still struggling with a concussion that led to him coming off at half-time against the South Africans at Rodney Parade.

It is hoped that lock/blindside George Nott (shoulder) and talisman Harri Keddie (elbow), who can play across the back row, will be fit for Belfast but they remain doubts.

If nobody recovers then the Dragons must either look to bring in a short-term signing or get through Ulster in the hope the situation clears for the run-in after the Six Nations.