DRAGONS centre Harri Ackerman was stretchered off with a serious injury when captaining Wales Under-20s in their Six Nations defeat to France on Thursday night.

The talented 19-year-old, who has made five senior appearances for the Rodney Parade club since making his debut against Oyonnax in December, suffered the blow in the second minute of the 45-12 hammering at Cardiff Arms Park.

Ackerman got his left lower leg trapped underneath the French loosehead after an outside break and was given gas.

He left the field on a cart with a protective boot and was taken to hospital, with a lengthy lay-off likely.

The Dragons had earmarked the promising prospect for a conditioning block after the Six Nations before he was set to feature in the World Rugby U20 Championship.

Ackerman was captaining the Welsh youngsters because Rodney Parade teammate Ryan Woodman is sidelined after a thumb injury suffered against the Sharks in January that required surgery, with the blindside targeting the summer tournament.

South Wales Argus: Dragons wing Harry Rees-Weldon on the charge for Wales Under-20s against FranceDragons wing Harry Rees-Weldon on the charge for Wales Under-20s against France (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

Wales suffered a heavy loss in the capital after being overpowered by a French side that had their bonus point in the bag before the break.

Prop Josh Morse went over from a driving lineout but the visitors had a commanding 28-5 lead thanks to tries by full-back Xan Mousques, flanker Joe Quere Karaba and prop Zinedine Aouad (2).

The damage was done and the French added just two more tries in the second half through man of the match back rower Sialevailea Tolofua and powerful back Mathys Belaubre either side of centre Macs Page’s well-crafted score.

Wales have lost three on the spin since beating Scotland in their opener and will try to finish with a flourish against Italy in Cardiff next Friday.