Dragons RFC back-row forward Ollie Griffiths is handed a chance to bid for a first EPCR Challenge Cup appearance of the season when he makes his first outing of the campaign on Friday in the Welsh side’s United Rugby Championship home game with Vodacom Bulls.

The 27-year-old, who has played 17 EPCR games in six seasons, is named at openside flanker in one of five changes made by Dragons head coach Dai Flanagan for the Newport team’s first match of 2023 at Rodney Parade, prior to their EPCR Challenge Cup Pool B tie at Section Paloise next Friday.

The other change to the Dragons pack is a call-up for Sean Lonsdale at blindside flanker, while in the backs fly-half Sam Davies, centre Max Clark and full back Jordan Williams are recalled.

Meanwhile, Emirates Lions travel to Munster Rugby before their EPCR Challenge Cup game at Stade Français Paris on January 14.

Emirates Lions lie second in Pool B on eight points, two adrift of leaders Scarlets and four ahead of sixth-placed Dragons.