THE Dragons have been dealt a double hammer blow with flanker Ollie Griffiths out for eight weeks with an ankle injury and prop Brok Harris facing four months on the sidelines after shoulder surgery.

Griffiths will go under the knife next week after a knock in last Friday’s European Challenge Cup win against Enisei-STM at Rodney Parade.

The once-capped Wales openside only recently came back from surgery on a broken jaw suffered against the Russians in Moscow.

That injury denied Griffiths the chance to be part of the Wales squad for the autumn internationals and the 22-year-old has suffered a blow in his bid to earn a place for the Six Nations.

He will now miss the Dragons’ festive derbies against Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys in Newport plus the January fixture at the Scarlets as well as Friday’s clash with Newcastle and the January double-header with Bordeaux-Begles in the Challenge Cup.

“Ollie Griffiths needs an operation on his ankle,” said head coach Bernard Jackman. “He’s having surgery next week and it will be eight weeks.

“He had a miraculous recovery from his broken jaw and is unfortunate to get another bad injury. He has been playing really well but it’s an opportunity for someone else.”

The Dragons are likely to field James Sheekey along with James Benjamin and Aaron Wainwright in the back row against the Falcons on Friday.

Meanwhile Harris, who has moved from being primarily a tighthead to a loosehead this season to accommodate Wales prospect Leon Brown, suffered a blow to his right shoulder in the dramatic draw against Ulster at the start of the month.

He has gone under the knife and will be out of action for four months, with the Dragons now set to bring a tighthead in on loan before the Boxing Day clash against the Blues.

Harris has been a mainstay in the Dragons front row since arriving fresh from winning the Currie Cup with Western Province in November, 2014.

The ex-Stormers prop played in 89 of 101 possible fixtures until the injury against Ulster that leaves Jackman with just two fit specialist tightheads in Brown and Lloyd Fairbrother.

The former played three Tests in the autumn until a concussion ruled him out of Wales’ finale against South Africa while the latter has impressed in recent weeks.

He made his sixth start on the spin in last Friday’s Challenge Cup win against Enisei-STM with Sam Hobbs, a loosehead by trade, replacing him in the closing stages.

With promising tighthead Christian Coleman also out for another lengthy spell, Fairbrother will once again be backed up by Hobbs against Newcastle.

Brown is set to return against the Blues, by which time Jackman hopes to have a third option on the books on loan.

“Brok has been outstanding this season for us as a loosehead but was also covering tighthead for us,” said Jackman.

“We are looking to bring a tighthead on loan as soon as possible. You can’t have two tightheads, even though we are really happy with how Lloyd has been playing.”

The Dragons are giving Brown another weekend off but his Wales teammates lock Cory Hill, hooker Elliot Dee and full-back/wing Hallam Amos are poised to return against Newcastle at Rodney Parade.