ROSS Moriarty will captain the Dragons against Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park on Sunday as boss Dean Ryan looks to develop the Wales flanker as a leader.

The director of rugby has opted for the 27-year-old as his skipper in the Rainbow Cup clash in the capital (kick-off 1pm) in the absence of the injured Rhodri Williams and Harri Keddie, who is on the bench.

Former Wales and Lions centre Jamie Roberts returns to the XV and captained the Dragons against the Blues on Boxing Day while Sam Davies led the side against the Ospreys in August.

However, Ryan has plumped for Moriarty as he attempts to challenge the in-form Wales international in terms of leadership.

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"He's growing in authority which is something I wouldn't use with Ross a couple of years ago,” said Ryan last month.

“He tends to keep himself to himself, but he's learning to lead through example, and I think he's been fantastic.”

The Dragons make seven changes to the side that hammered the Scarlets in the Rainbow Cup opener.

On-loan Ioan Davies comes in for a debut at full-back against his parent club, Roberts replaces Jared Rosser (head injury) and Argentina scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou comes in for Williams (shoulder).

There are four changes up front with Wales tighthead Leon Brown starting along with loosehead Josh Reynolds and locks Joe Davies and Matthew Screech, who is set to join Cardiff next season.

Fly-half Josh Lewis will make a return from an ankle injury as a sub. He had been impressing at full-back until twisting awkwardly in the warm-up ahead of the Principality Stadium win against Glasgow.

Wales wing Josh Adams starts for the hosts after earning a Lions call on Thursday.

Former Dragons Hallam Amos and Cory Hill start for the Blues, who field a much stronger side after being hammered at the Ospreys in their opener.

Dai Young fields a strong pack featuring Hill and fellow Wales internationals Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies and Josh Turnbull.

Cardiff Blues: H Amos; J Harries, O Lane, M Llewellyn, J Adams; B Thomas, J Hill; R Carre, K Myhill (captain), D Lewis, S Davies, C Hill, J Turnbull, O Robinson, S Moore.

Replacements: K Dacey, B Thyer, W Davies-King, T Williams, J Ratti, E Bevan, J Evans, W Halaholo.

Dragons: I Davies; J Holmes, A Owen, J Roberts, R Dyer; S Davies, G Bertanou; J Reynolds, T Davies, L Brown, J Davies, M Screech, R Moriarty (captain), T Basham, A Wainwright.

Replacements: R Lawrence, G Bateman, C Coleman, B Carter, H Keddie, D Babos, J Lewis, J Dixon.

Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)