JACK Dixon has overcome a groin injury to start in midfield for the Dragons in their Boxing Day derby against Cardiff Blues at Rodney Parade.

The inside centre had been a doubt for Tuesday’s Guinness PRO14 clash (kick-off 2pm) and South African recruit Jarryd Sage was on standby for a debut.

However, the 23-year-old has got the green light to feature in the clash with the Dragons’ fiercest rivals.

Head coach Bernard Jackman makes two changes to the XV that lost to Newcastle 27-25 in the European Challenge Cup last weekend.

Pat Howard gets the nod ahead of Jared Rosser on the left wing while James Sheekey, who signed from Cardiff RFC earlier this season and was formerly of the Blues, comes in for Ben Roach at number eight with James Benjamin moving to openside.

South African scrum-half Sarel Pretorius is back from a jaw injury to be among the replacements – with teenager Dan Babos retaining the 9 jersey – while on-loan Scarlets tighthead Nicky Thomas is poised for a debut from the bench.

Dragons: H Amos, A Hewitt, A Warren, J Dixon, P Howard, G Henson, D Babos, S Hobbs, E Dee, L Fairbrother, J Davies, C Hill (captain), A Wainwright, J Benjamin, J Sheekey. Replacements: L Belcher, T Davies, N Thomas, R Landman, B Roach, S Pretorius, A O’Brien, J Rosser.

Cardiff Blues: M Morgan, O Lane, G Smith, R Lee-Lo, A Summerhill, G Anscombe, T Williams, B Thyer, M Rees (captain), A Pikrishvili, S Davies, M Cook, J Navidi, O Robinson, N Williams. Replacements: K Myhill, G Jenkins, K Assiratti, D Welch, J Turnbull, L Williams, J Evans, T James.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)