BACK row forward Taine Basham has been given a lift by Dragons boss Dean Ryan singling him out for praise.

The bright prospect from Talywain, who turned 20 on Saturday, has been a leading figure for the Rodney Parade region at the start of the Guinness PRO14.

With Aaron Wainwright and Ross Moriarty away at the World Cup with Wales and Ollie Griffiths hindered by injury, the dynamic back rower has featured in all five fixtures.

He came off the bench in the season opener at Munster and scored tries when starting at flanker against Zebre, Connacht and Glasgow before being praised by director of rugby Ryan last weekend.

The Dragons may have lost heavily, with Leinster running in eight tries in a 50-15 hammering in Dublin, but Basham didn't take a backward step.

He was the joint top for tackles with 14 and carried hard all night, racking up 57 metres from 12 bursts, including the charge and then offload that set up a consolation score for wing Owen Jenkins.

"I thought Taine Basham was outstanding for a young man in those circumstances. We shouldn't lose sight of that," said Ryan.

"When people look a little but under the surface, they will see some really good things from people like Taine."

Basham, who is set for his 20th senior appearance against Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm) is determined to keep his head down in order to earn more praise from his boss.

"I am enjoying my rugby, taking it a game at a time and trying to get better and improve," he said.

"If Dean says that I am playing well then I can take confidence from that. I just want to become a better player and work hard on things that need to be worked on.

"There is a lot of competition in the back row, with Waino and Ross to come back to add to that, but competition can only make you a better player.

"Being around them, learning from what they do after coming back from the international environment, makes you better and I want to push them. I hope to keep getting games in the PRO14."

The Dragons head to Scotland this weekend on the back of a heavy loss but Basham insists it wasn't all doom and gloom at the Royal Dublin Society.

"First half we can be proud of some of our work, we fronted up and didn't back off," he said. "But second half they capitalised on our mistakes and we couldn't come back."

The Dragons face an Edinburgh side who have won three and lost two, with their second defeat coming at Benetton last weekend when they were edged out 18-16 in testing conditions.

"We’re be hurting after this loss, but we know moving forward what we’re capable of and we’ll look to bounce back when we face Dragons in front of our home support," said hooker Mike Willemse.

Fijian number eight Viliame Mata, the reigning PRO14 player of the year, came off the bench in Treviso after his World Cup exertions and boss Richard Cockerill intends to slowly reintroduce his Scotland internationals.

Lock Grant Gilchrist, flankers Jamie Ritchie and John Barclay and livewire wing Darcy Graham are among those to have returned to training.