BOSS Dean Ryan wants to drop star man Sam Davies – but only to give the Dragons fly-half a breather after an impressive start to life at Rodney Parade.

Davies has shouldered a heavy burden since heading east from the Ospreys and is set to start his sixth successive Guinness PRO14 clash against Edinburgh tomorrow night (kick-off 7.35pm).

The 26-year-old has played in 388 of 400 possible minutes, is sixth on the league points chart and has also racked up 48 tackles with teams targeting the playmaker by running down his channel.

The region suffered a pre-season blow when Josh Lewis, who had been poised to push the new recruit hard for the 10 jersey, ruptured knee ligaments.

That has left them down to 22-year-old Arwel Robson, who is on the comeback trail from a serious hamstring injury, and Jacob Botica, who has never started a professional game, as the fly-half cover.

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"Sam has started well and I've probably got to work out how to get him out of the side," admitted Ryan.

"There are three or four of our players who are too high on minutes at the moment and I'd like to change the side.

"That doesn't mean we haven't got competition, but it's just about trying to get consistency versus starting to spice things up. Over the next month I've got to create some opportunities.

"I have spoken to three or four players this week and the pressure is on me now rather than them, because I probably haven't seen enough of some people to tell them why they don't get in the side.

"I've got to create some opportunities over the next few weeks to get them in the mix because through those opportunities and people getting better is how we drive the side on.

"We've spoken about Taine Basham, Owen Jenkins, Josh Reynolds coming in and taking their opportunities to move the side forward.

"I probably need to shake it up by four or five and get people like Sam out, fresh and back ready to go again."

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Davies won the last of his eight caps against Samoa in the summer of 2017 but is hoping the move to the Dragons reignites his Wales career.

New boss Wayne Pivac will not have the services of Dan Biggar for his first game in the hotseat against the Barbarians with Davies an option along with Rhys Patchell and Jarrod Evans.

Ryan believes the challenges of calling the shots at the Dragons, who have won two of five games, are highlighting his fly-half qualities.

"Sam Davies is a high-calibre 10 that makes great decisions," said Ryan. "This is probably the first time that he has been under such pressure of decision-making around the capability of his team and moments in games because of some of our frailties in other areas.

"That's a great test for him, you can look and say 'Sam can't be going well in a side in that position', but he is, and his challenge is greater than others whose sides are further down the line.

"I can only speak really highly of how I have found him and how smart he is abut the game, because he is under a lot of pressure to keep this team together."

Ryan names his side for Murrayfield at midday and is unlikely to make many changes to the team that lost 50-15 at Leinster last weekend.