DRAGONS fly-half Josh Lewis faces a battle to play again this season after rupturing knee ligaments in training.

The 27-year-old from Aberdare suffered the blow in pre-season and a scan revealed that he has torn anterior cruciate ligaments in his right leg.

Lewis has gone under the knife and will be out for between six and nine months, denying him the chance to build on a strong finish to last season after his 2018 move from Bath.

The best-case scenario would see the former Ebbw Vale fly-half, whose contract expires next summer, return for the run-in.

Campaign Series:

The Dragons will also be without Samoa lock Brandon Nansen until the New Year after he broke his right forearm in the pre-season win against the Scarlets.

It is yet another injury blow for the hard-hitting forward, who arrived on a two-year contract from Stade Francais but made just 12 appearances after tearing his hamstring in January.

His time in France was ended after four games when he snapped his left forearm when making a tackle for the Parisians against Pau in the Top 14, an injury that leads to him playing with strapping.

With Nansen out and Cory Hill on the comeback trail from the leg injury that ended his World Cup, the Dragons have Joe Davies, Matthew Screech and Max Williams as second row options with the back-up provided by back rowers Lewis Evans and Huw Taylor.

Lewis, who played 22 times last season, had been hoping to put the heat on Sam Davies after the Wales fly-half headed east from the Ospreys.

That job now falls to Arwel Robson, who is on the comeback trail after nine months out with a torn hamstring, and Jacob Botica, who made his long-awaited debut last weekend.

Campaign Series:

The 27-year-old headed south from Welsh Premiership club RGC 1404 last summer along with centre Tiaan Loots but neither made an appearance.

Loots was released from his contract to join the Houston SaberCats in August and Botica also looked to be on his way out.

However, the fly-half stayed put – thankfully after Lewis' injury misfortune – and grasped his chance to impress in the Celtic Cup, earning the right to be Davies' back-up in the PRO14 opener at Munster.

After an hour his chance finally came, albeit at full-back after wing Ashton Hewitt suffered a horror cut to the face.

"Jacob has been very patient in fairness. He came from the Premiership and there is a step up into pro rugby and it has taken him a little bit longer than he would have liked to adjust," said backs coach Barry Maddocks.

"He played really well for the under-23s at the start of the season, he has shown very good maturity in team meetings and confidence on the pitch as well.

"It has taken time to adjust to the speed of thought. He has done very well in that period and has got better in training.

"When you play at the next level you have to make rapid decisions and then organise people quickly, but he has shown some really good glimpses in pre-season, so it was good to see him make his debut last week.

"It's about consistency and he still needs to play. Arwel is having a run of games at the moment and that is good for him, Jacob will need that as well to top him up and keep him fresh and sharp."