HOOKER Rhys Buckley has undergone surgery on his right shoulder ahead of his summer return to Newport Gwent Dragons, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 24-year-old is returning to Rodney Parade after two seasons in the English Championship with Doncaster and Moseley.

Buckley has been a key figure for the West Midlanders this season but, given that they sit comfortably in mid-table with six fixtures left, the Billesley Common outfit allowed the front row forward to go under the knife.

The hooker, who has crossed for nine tries in 17 starts, has been playing with a niggle for a number of weeks and intends to get it right so that he can play a full-part in pre-season when he returns to the Dragons.

Buckley, who had a solitary season with the region in 2011/12 after catching the eye while with Pontypool, is replacing Ospreys-bound Sam Parry and will be battling for spots with Rhys Thomas, Elliot Dee and Hugh Gustafson.

His absence from the Moseley line-up should ensure plenty of game time for another man of Gwent, former Newport High School Old Boys hooker Will Evans.