SAM Davies is set for his first outing in Dragons colours when the region's first-teamers head to Cardiff Blues in the Celtic Cup tomorrow (kick-off 3.30pm).

New director of rugby Dean Ryan is keen to see his new charges in action ahead of the Guinness PRO14 opener at Munster on September 28 so is using the development competition fixture at the Arms Park as a tune-up.

The Dragons' academy talent impressed in last week's six-try, 36-10 win against Munster A in Newport but sweeping changes have been made to the side.

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Harrison Keddie captains the team from number eight and is joined in starting line-up by Wales internationals Ryan Bevington, Tavis Knoyle, Adam Warren and Dafydd Howells plus first team regulars Jack Dixon, Taine Basham, Rhys Lawrence, Huw Taylor and Joe Davies.

A strong bench features Wales fly-half Davies – the marquee summer signing from the Ospreys – plus key figures Ollie Griffiths, Rhodri Williams, Matthew Screech, Lloyd Fairbrother and Jordan Williams.

The only senior absentees are props Brok Harris and Aaron Jarvis, hooker Richard Hibbard, lock Brandon Nansen, back row forwards Lewis Evans and James Benjamin, fly-half Josh Lewis, centre Tyler Morgan and wingers Ashton Hewitt and Jared Rosser.

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There is still some youth in the side, with wing Rio Dyer (pictured above) and lock Max Williams starting after impressing against Munster while centre Aneurin Owen and full-back Carwyn Penny will aim to build on their lively showings from the bench, but it is a change for senior figures to make an impression ahead of the league opener in Limerick.

The Celtic Cup team is coached by Luke Narraway but Ryan will be an interested observed in the stands in the capital.

Keddie, who missed the end of last season with a foot injury, wants to build up a head of steam leading into next week's double-header against the Scarlets.

"I'm really excited to be back out playing as it feels like ages since I last ran out with the boys," he said.

"The Dragons XV performed really well last week against Munster so they set the standards for the team who are playing this week. It's up to us to go out and match them.

"The team produced some great attacking rugby so hopefully we can keep that up and build crucial momentum with the start of the new league season less than a month away."

The Blues have also named a strong squad with former Dragons favourite Jason Tovey among the replacements.

The fly-half is joined on the bench by Wales internationals Scott Andrews, Rory Thornton, Matthew Morgan and Seb Davies, plus fellow summer signing Will Boyde.

Cardiff Blues A: I Davies; J Harries, H Millard, G Smith, A Summerhill; D Fish, L Jones; C Domachowski, L Belcher, W Davies King, B Murphy, M Cook, S Lewis-Hughes, J Botham, A Lawrence (captain).

Replacements: E Lewis, B Thyer, S Andrews, R Thornton, W Boyde, J Hill, J Tovey, M Morgan, S Davies, B Thomas.

Dragons XV: O Jenkins, D Howells, A Warren, J Dixon, R Dyer, J Botica, T Knoyle, R Bevington, R Lawrence, C Coleman, J Davies, M Williams, H Taylor, T Basham, H Keddie.

Replacements: E Shipp, J Reynolds, L Fairbrother, M Screech, O Griffiths, R Williams, S Davies, A Owen, J Williams, C Penny.