WALES hooker Elliot Dee has been given the green light to return for the Dragons’ crunch European Challenge Cup clash at Bordeaux-Begles on Saturday – while fly-half Dorian Jones will pull the strings for the first time since September.

Dee missed last weekend’s crushing 47-13 loss to the Scarlets after a concussion in the closing stages of the New Year’s Eve defeat to the Ospreys in Newport.

The 23-year-old, who was capped in Wales’ wins against Georgia and South Africa in the autumn, provides a welcome shot in the arm ahead of the vital clash at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.

“It’s great that Elliot will come back in and his experience will help the boys in the front row,” said skills coach Barry Maddocks.

“We are looking forward to having him back and it’s good news that he has passed the tests. His abrasive edge and skills will help the boys immensely and we are really happy that he will be involved.”

He will be part of a pack charged with providing quality ball of Jones, who hasn’t played for the Dragons since starting in the heavy Guinness PRO14 loss at Ulster in September.

The 26-year-old has been in impressive form for Ebbw Vale in recent weeks to force his way back into the XV.

Jones is set to be picked ahead of Gavin Henson and Angus O’Brien and take over the 10 jersey from Arwel Robson, who suffered an ankle injury in Llanelli last Friday.

Playmaker Henson was not picked against the Ospreys or Scarlets after an under-par performance against Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day but will feature in France.

“We can’t play Gav every single game, we have to select the games that he plays,” said Maddocks. “He is going to be involved this week and will be full of energy, no doubt, coming back into the group.”

Dee return is a major boost given the paucity of options up front with the Dragons having just the minimum four props and two hookers available for Bordeaux.

They have just one fit registered tighthead for the fixture – Lloyd Fairbrother – and he is set to be backed up by loosehead Sam Hobbs in the absence of Leon Brown (concussion), Brok Harris (shoulder), Christian Coleman (shoulder) and Nicky Thomas (not registered).

Dee and Liam Belcher are the only registered hookers while they have just two available looseheads in Thomas Davies and Luke Garrett, who was substituted after 25 minutes in Llanelli.

Teams are allowed to register three additional players during the pool stage but the region have already brought in hooker Belcher for Rhys Buckley, flanker Ben Roach for lock Matthew Screech and back row forward James Sheekey for lock Ashley Sweet.

Centres Sam Beard and Jarryd Sage will drop out of the 23 from the Scarlets along with teenage openside Taine Basham as they are not registered for Europe.

Realistically the Dragons need to win in the west of France then repeat the trick at Rodney Parade the following Saturday to stand a chance of making the quarter-finals as one of three best runners-up.