TAINE Basham is in line to make his Dragons comeback in the Rainbow Cup opener against the Scarlets on Sunday, while fellow back rower Ollie Griffiths is closing in on a return.

The 21-year-old from Talywain has been out since fracturing his left forearm in the PRO14 defeat in Llanelli on New Year's Day.

The Wales hopeful has been playing a full part in training for a number of weeks and helped in the preparations for the European Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat to Northampton.

Basham is now poised to make his return at Rodney Parade this weekend and add to Dean Ryan's back row options for the Rainbow Cup, with the director of rugby set to mix experience and youth in the competition.

Harri Keddie has been a leading figure for the Dragons this season and was joined for the PRO14 run-in by Wales internationals Ross Moriarty and Aaron Wainwright, up-and-coming Ben Fry and number eight Dan Baker, who arrived on a short-term deal in February.

Griffiths, who was knocking loudly on the Wales door before an ankle injury, is also set to add to Ryan's headache soon.

BLOW: Taine Basham suffered a fractured forearm in the Dragons loss at the Scarlets

BLOW: Taine Basham suffered a fractured forearm in the Dragons loss at the Scarlets

"Taine will be back, which is great, and Ollie is not too far away but won't feature this week," said the boss.

"Taine has been really enthusiastic in training for the last few weeks, so the competition in the back row remains really high quality.

"The challenge is to get some cohesion in the group because there are plenty of good players there.

"With somebody with so much potential like Taine, the expectation goes up that he will hit the ground running.

"His rugby experiences are still pretty narrow, so we just want to get Taine back playing and enjoying himself.

"We know he can do stuff that other people can't and he's got to get that balance right.

"We haven't put any expectation of him picking up where he left off because that's a lot easier when 27/28 than when starting out."

The PRO14 was cut short in order to start the Rainbow Cup with the South African sides but the tournament will now be split in two because of travel issues.

The Dragons will play three Welsh derbies before a three more fixtures against Irish, Scottish and Italian teams.

There might not be much to play for but Ryan won’t be treating the tournament like the Celtic Cup and is keen for the next generation to experience meaningful action.

"It's not a development experience if we can't make it competitive, or unless we can get a youngster next to an experienced international,” he said.

"We are all in the same place of trying to thread some guys into a more recognised senior group."

The Dragons name their team at midday tomorrow.