WILL Talbot-Davies has vowed to be his own man after injury misfortune provided the full-back with an opportunity to be the first name on the Dragons' teamsheet.

The 22-year-old will make his 22nd regional appearance when he lines up at 15 in tonight's vital European Challenge Cup encounter with Worcester at Rodney Parade.

The Wales Sevens international is set for a run of games in his favoured position, where he has started just five times, courtesy of Jordan Williams' rotten luck.

Williams has been a firm fixture at the back since heading to Rodney Parade from Bristol but is out for the rest of the season after rupturing knee ligaments against Enisei-STM in Krasnodar last month.

It leaves Talbot-Davies with the chance to be on top of the teamsheet for the second half of the campaign rather than on the flank, one that the bright prospect intends to grasp in his own style.

Free Press Series:

"The coaches said to me to not try and emulate Jordan. We are very different players and have different attributes," said Talbot-Davies, who is in the last year of a law degree at Cardiff University.

"We all know about Jordan's x-factor and he can beat anybody, Dean (Ryan, director of rugby) spoke to me about that and said to focus on what my strengths are and not getting too bogged down in trying to replicate what Jordan has done over the last couple of years.

"Physically we are different – I am taller and heavier. I need to be consistent, solid and then pick my lines in attack and run slightly different lines to Jordan.

"But at the same time I class myself as someone that can beat defenders, I'm not just a truck-it-up player. I still like to get the ball in my hands, take people on and get the ball wide."

Talbot-Davies, whose father's family are from North Wales, was born in High Wycombe then went to Solihull School, where he was part of the Welsh Exiles programme and was picked up by the Dragons.

He had only just turned 19 when made his debut against Leicester at Welford Road in November, 2016 – Wales tighthead Leon Brown also made his professional bow in that Anglo-Welsh Cup encounter – but has had to be patient.

Talbot-Davies did not come through an academy system so the Dragons opted not to rush his development.

Free Press Series:

"It has been a slow burn, I suppose," he admitted. "I've had some game time over the last few years and been away with the sevens, I've had a fair bit of exposure but now is the time to string a solid run of starts together.

"In the past I have been playing on the wing or covering the back three (from the bench) but now I'd like to play in that 15 jersey for as long as I can and take the opportunity that has arisen.

"It's sad for Jordan, it's tough luck, but Dean has spoken to a lot of us because injuries provide an opportunity for people in the squad.

"The make-up of a good squad is that boys come in and take the reins when there are injuries. It's in negative circumstances but it's good for me to get some game time and enjoy having some solid minutes."

Talbot-Davies played his part in last week's battling performance in Worcester – close to his old Solihull stomping ground – when the Dragons battled for a consolation bonus in a 34-28 defeat.

They played for an hour down to 14 men after Taine Basham's red card but led on the hour and then rallied from quickfire Warriors scores to salvage something courtesy of Sam Davies' chip and gather from his own 22 and calm assist for Luke Baldwin.

"Afterwards we were pretty disappointed, it felt like a missed opportunity, but when you reflect on things you appreciate that it is a six-game group and that bonus point could be massive," said Talbot-Davies.

"We've got the chance to go again against Worcester tonight and provided we come away with a good result we can beat them over the two legs.

"There are some areas to improve on, as there always is, but we were quite pleased with the general game and how we managed it with 14 men.

"As soon as that happened after 20 minutes it was always going to be a long day at the office but we fronted up and really did well to dig in for that bonus point."