THE Dragons have signed Nicky Thomas on loan from the Scarlets after Brok Harris’ shoulder surgery left them down to their last two tightheads, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 23-year-old will be at Rodney Parade until the end of January as back-up to Wales prop Leon Brown and Lloyd Fairbrother.

Thomas came through the ranks at the Ospreys before heading over the border to Gloucester, returning to Wales to the Scarlets in 2016.

The former Wales Under-20s international has played just eight times for the Guinness PRO14 champions and after going on loan to Bristol earlier this season is now heading to the Dragons on a short-term deal.

He is not registered for Europe so will not feature against Newcastle in the Challenge Cup on Friday – loosehead Sam Hobbs will be Fairbrother’s back up while Brown has another week off following a concussion – but will be in the mix for the festive derbies against Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys.

"I would like to thank the Scarlets and [head coach] Wayne Pivac for allowing Nicky to come to us,” said Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman.

“Nicky had been at Bristol over the past few months and he made a big impression on and off the pitch there.

“He played with a lot of our players at age-grade level and is one of the best scrummaging tight heads around.

“Our scrum has been a real strong point for us this season and we want to continue to dominate in this area and I feel Nicky has the attributes to do that.

"He isn't available for Friday night against Newcastle, but we will be able to call on him for the two big back-to-back Welsh derbies at Rodney Parade over Christmas.”

The Dragons are also without promising tighthead Christian Coleman, who has suffered another long-term injury on his return from summer shoulder surgery.

Harris, who has been primarily playing loosehead this season but covered tighthead while Brown was on Wales duty over the autumn, went under the knife this week after an injury against Ulster at the start of the month.

Last season loosehead Luke Garrett went in the opposite direction on loan to the Scarlets while the Dragons brought centre Joe Thomas in from the Ospreys on a short-term deal last month.