DRAGONS boss Dai Flanagan hopes an experienced bench can help close the deal in the bid for a derby double against the Scarlets this afternoon.

The Rodney Parade club finish their United Rugby Championship campaign against the west Walians at Cardiff City Stadium (kick-off 3pm).

It has been another tough season but they did enjoy a high on New Year’s Day when they edged out the Scarlets 13-12 at a sodden Rodney Parade thanks to Sam Costelow missed a routine late penalty.

That has given the Dragons a shot at only their second ever double over the men from Llanelli – they managed the feat in 2007/8 – in what should be more of a spectacle.

“I think it will be a lot more open than the last game. It's two teams wanting to impress, full of youngsters,” said Flanagan.

“We've got the best up and coming talent playing, the likes of Rio Dyer and Aaron Wainwright, people like Ben Carter and Matthew Screech back in the second row, so we are pretty strong.”

South Wales Argus: RIVALS: The Scarlets' Dwayne Peel and Ryan Elias at Cardiff City Stadium with the Dragons' Aaron Wainwright and Dai FlanaganRIVALS: The Scarlets' Dwayne Peel and Ryan Elias at Cardiff City Stadium with the Dragons' Aaron Wainwright and Dai Flanagan (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

The Dragons have won just three times in the URC this season, against the Scarlets, Ospreys and Zebre Parma in Newport.

They have missed plenty of opportunities courtesy of last-quarter collapses but they possess plenty of experience on their bench in the capital.

Club captain Steff Hughes is joined by former Wales and Lions flanker Dan Lydiate and seasoned campaigners James Benjamin, Rodrigo Martinez, Dmitri Arhip, George Nott and Sio Tomkinson.

Only scrum-half Che Hope, a key figure in Newport RFC finishing as Premiership runners-up, is a novice.

“If we paused games at home on 60 or 65 minutes then we would have won a lot more,” said Flanagan.

“We've only won three league games at home out of 11, so we could have added another four or five in there.

“We’ve got to look at the reasons why and the players on the bench have a massive role to see us home.

“The opportunity for the guys to start is great at Judgement Day as well. We're building, we've got high expectations for a lot of players this weekend, and I'm looking forward to seeing them go.”