THE Dragons are ready to field “explosive” back Calvin Wellington for the first time at Saracens in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday afternoon, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 23-year-old from Port Talbot has been working hard with the coaching staff and conditioners since returning to rugby union from St Helens in November.

Wellington, who was spotted by the Super League giants playing for Aberavon Quins in 2015, has been nursing a tight hamstring that prevented him from being in contention for the Wales squad at the Rugby League World Cup.

The plan was always to hand the speedster a January debut and the has got the green light for Allianz Park.

Head coach Bernard Jackman sees Wellington primarily as an outside centre but his bow could come out wide with the Dragons looking to get the dangerous runner involved.

“Calvin has added a lot of enthusiasm to the training environment and is very athletic, so I am looking forward to seeing what he can do with the ball in his hands,” said academy coach James Chapron.

“You need people who can change the game and Calvin has that potential on his own – he is very quick, very explosive, very powerful.

“I am excited to see what he can do for us in both structured and unstructured play.”

Head coach Bernard Jackman overseeing this weekend’s fixture but has taken the chance to give a breather to defence coach Hendre Marnitz, backs coach Shaun Connor and forwards coach Ceri Jones.

Academy boss Chapron is looking after defence with Rhys Thomas in charge of the forwards in addition to his commitments as breakdown coach and skills coach Barry Maddocks in charge of the backs.

“The first team coaches are under extreme pressure and a lot of scrutiny,” said Chapron, who was at the helm for the Dragons Premiership Select’s British & Irish Cup campaign.

“It’s a carousel for them that keeps going and going and going. They have gone on CPD this week for refreshment and will pick up again next week [for Worcester].”

“It’s great to have the experience,” continued the former Pontypool head coach. “You are coaching slightly better players and people like Rynard Landman and Sarel Pretorius, who have a lot of experience under their belts.

“It was my first time coaching Gavin Henson on Tuesday, so it’s good for me and my development.”

The Dragons name their team at midday with former Springboks full-back Zane Kirchner and back row forward Harrison Keddie set to feature for the first time in four months.

The duo suffered shoulder injuries in the PRO14 win against Connacht at Rodney Parade in September.

Wales Under-20s back row Max Williams will also make a timely comeback ahead of the Six Nations while speedster Rio Dyer, who is also a member of the young Wales squad, could make a regional debut.