TAINE Basham is free to play in the Dragons’ festive derbies after being banned for just one week for his red card at Worcester.

The back row forward was dismissed for a dangerous tackle in the 20th minute of the European Challenge Cup defeat at Sixways last weekend.

The 20-year-old from Talywain attended a disciplinary hearing in London with director of rugby Dean Ryan and while referee Marius Mitrea’s decision was backed, the offence was deemed to be at the low-end of the range.

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“An independent disciplinary committee consisting of Jennifer Donovan (Ireland), chair, Frank Hadden (Scotland) and Gordon Black (Ireland) considered video imagery of the incident, and heard evidence and submissions from the player, from the Dragons director of rugby, Dean Ryan, and from the EPCR disciplinary officer, Liam McTiernan," read a European Professional Club Rugby statement.

“The committee upheld the red card decision finding that the player had committed an act of foul play.

“It was decided that offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and two weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

“There were no aggravating factors, and taking into account the player’s clear disciplinary record, his youth and inexperience and his expression of remorse, the committee reduced the sanction by the maximum of 50 per cent before imposing a one-week suspension.”

Basham will miss Friday’s return fixture with Worcester at Rodney Parade but will be available for the three derby tussles with the Scarlets and Ospreys heading to Newport either side of the trip to the capital to face Cardiff Blues.

The dynamic back rower has enjoyed a superb start to the season, scoring seven tries in nine fixtures.

Basham’s exploits led to new Wales boss Wayne Pivac calling him into the national squad for their fixture against the Barbarians.

The ban being just a single fixture will be a relief for Ryan, who said yesterday that he felt it was not an offence that deserved a red card.

"He put himself in a situation and caused the team a situation off the back of that. We are all with Taine, we don't believe it should have had the result it did so getting the support around him is crucial, but he is pretty robust.

"We are keen to get him back on the field, that's the key thing. It really would be a travesty if they keep him off the field for a long time.

"It's a movement game and there are rugby incidents, you can't play this game in a perfect world and in slow-motion.

"I believe it was a rugby incident that definitely warranted some action, but I don't think it warranted what ended up in a red card."

Ryan must now mull over who will join Aaron Wainwright and Ollie Griffiths in the back row for the must-win encounter with Worcester.

Huw Taylor came off the bench to face his former side at Sixways and has enjoyed a solid first half of the campaign while Harri Keddie is another option.

Ryan could even decide to hand Wales lock Cory Hill his long-awaited return after 10 months out at blindside flanker.

The Dragons name their team at midday.