THE Dragons will travel to English big guns Exeter in pre-season.

Dean Ryan will take his team to face the Chiefs at Sandy Park on Saturday, September 5 (kick-off 3pm).

The announcement of the September friendly has been made so early because it is included in the Chiefs' season ticket packages along with a Sandy Park meeting with Munster.

The start date for the Guinness PRO14 has not yet been confirmed but it has been shifted back in line with World Rugby's calendar, which has seen Test rugby pushed back from June to July.

This season kicked off against Munster on the final weekend of September, so the Chiefs encounter will be an early hit-out for both sides.

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The Dragons hosted Exeter in 2016 and travelled to Devon the following year and once again there is a trade with the Chiefs heading to Newport in 2021.

"We have faced the Dragons a number of times over the years, whether it's in pre-season or in Cup fixtures, and we have great relationships with them," said Exeter boss Rob Baxter.

"Because it's our first fixture we will probably tend to do a mix-and-match in that game and try and get a lot of the squad some involvement."