FIT-AGAIN fly-half Josh Lewis believes he has the attacking game to make Sam Davies feel the pressure when the Dragons return to training next week.

Lewis has been sidelined since rupturing knee ligaments last August, a blow that allowed new boy Davies to dominate at 10 after his arrival from the Ospreys.

The Wales playmaker made 16 appearances in his first season at Rodney Parade, missing just the game against Enisei-STM in Russia and the fixtures against Benetton and Zebre when he was on Test duty.

All of Davies' outings were as a starter but director of rugby Dean Ryan will now have a stronger option to consider.

Lewis finished 2018/19 in superb form and was influential in the stunning Judgement Day win against the Scarlets.

The 28-year-old from Aberdare wants to put the heat on Davies and make up for lost time after enduring a further delay because of the coronavirus crisis.

Free Press Series:

"I was 10 finishing off that season and going into the new one I wanted to enjoy that competition with Sam," he reflected.

"After finishing on a high with the win at Judgement Day it was a kick in the teeth to be injured, especially after he had just come in.

"I was aiming to return at the end of March and was looking forward to it but then all of this (coronavirus) happened.

"Rehab was a hard slog but the more you put into it, the better the rewards and now I want to get that jersey back now and kick on from where I left off."

The injury happened in the opening months of Lewis' battle with Wales international Davies.

“It was a few weeks before the first league game, I did a sidestep in training, nothing too hard or too fast, and I felt a pop in the knee,” said Lewis.

“I went for a scan and nothing showed up on it, then a week before we played Munster it popped again.

“I knew then that something was seriously wrong and I had to go under the knife to see what was happening inside the knee. I’d ruptured my ACL again, which I’d done at the Scarlets about six years earlier.”

Lewis' stock arguably rose in his absence with Jacob Botica and Arwel Robson failing to make Davies fight for his start.

Nonetheless, the left-footer settled into life in the east with a strong season, kicking the Dragons to late wins against Worcester, the Scarlets and Cheetahs.

Free Press Series:

"He did well. If he hadn't come in then we might have struggled a bit after my injury," said Lewis.

"It's not nice watching the game and your competition is going well but there was nothing that I could have done anyway.

"We are totally different players with different strengths. He did well and helped to get a couple of victories.

"He has a good kicking game and I enjoy running with the ball and attacking the line. We probably suit different games but it's nice to have competition and variety. I think that we can learn off each other."

Davies will need to respond if Lewis hits the heights of the end of his first season.

He endured a tough start after joining from Bath, leading to the re-signing of Jason Tovey, but bounced back to earn a recall to the XV.

Free Press Series:

"I didn't have the best of starts and the fans were on my back," said the former Ebbw Vale playmaker. "I just had to get back into the right headspace.

"That wasn't easy but I thought that I did it well, kicking on after Bernard (Jackman, head coach) left to get to where I was at Judgement Day. Now I'm itching to get back out there."

Lewis' 2018/19 exploits were enough to earn a fresh two-year contract in February, even though Ryan had not seen him play.

"It was a big relief. I've just had a baby so there were a lot of things on my mind but Dean stuck by me and I can't wait to get back and repay that faith.

"He has changed a lot on and off the field and is a coach that you really want to work for – if he says to do something then you will do it."