The Dragons will be boosted by the return of Danny Lydiate to the side tomorrow night as the Men of Gwent take on the Ospreys in the LV= Cup (KO 7:30pm)
Steve Jones will play at hooker with Cross Keys number 2 Lloyd Burns providing cover on the bench as captain Tom Willis in rested while Martyn Thomas starts at fullback as Jason Tovey moves to outside half.
Ospreys back rower Steve Tandy will make his 100th appearance for the region, becoming the 11th player to reach a century of Ospreys caps.
Ospreys Coach Jonathan Humphreys said: "With 15 players away on international duty, the next few weeks promise to be an exciting time for this group of players with the challenge of the LV= Cup followed by two important games as we look to secure a place in the end of season-play-offs. It's certainly going to be an interesting time, particularly with so many younger players coming into contention during this period looking to show what they can do and stake a claim for a place.
"Our options for this game have been enhanced by Wales allowing four players to come back to us. In the case of Shane and Adam, it is clear that they need more game time after lengthy spells on the sidelines, while the likes of Tom and Kristian were always penciled in for involvement this weekend so we are happy to welcome them back.
"At the other end of the scale, we have Steve Tandy making his 100th appearance for the region and captaining the team for the first time. One of the original Ospreys, Steve has been, and continues to be, a tremendous servant to the region, and along with the likes of Andy Lloyd and Sonny Parker will have an important part to play over the coming weeks as one of the senior players in the group.
"I've no doubt that the Dragons will be looking forward to welcoming what they perceive to be an under strength Ospreys side to Rodney Parade, but we are building a squad that can compete on all fronts here and we will go into the game confident that we have the capability of going there and performing, so I've no doubt it should be good game."
Dragons Martyn Thomas, Will Harries, Matthew Watkins, Ashley Smith (C), Aled Brew, Jason Tovey, Wayne Evans, Ali Mckenzie, Steve Jones, Pat Palmer, Adam Jones, Hoani MacDonald, Gavin Thomas, James Harris, Grant Webb.
Replacements Lloyd Burns, Aaron Coundley, Ben Castle, Rob Sidoli, Danny Lydiate, James Leadbeater, James Arlidge, Richard Fussell
The Ospreys 15 Barry Davies 14 Kristian Phillips 13 Sonny Parker 12 Ashley Beck 11 Shane Williams 10 Gareth Owen 9 Jamie Nutbrown; 1 Ryan Bevington 2 Ed Shervington 3 Adam Jones 4 Andy Lloyd 5 Ian Evans 6 Ben Lewis 7 Steve Tandy (Capt) 8 Tom Smith
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze 17 Craig Mitchell 18 Cai Griffiths 19 James Goode 20 James King 21 Rhys Webb 22 Matthew Jarvis 23 Tom Prydie.
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