THE Dragons will be playing knockout European rugby as long as they avoid a Challenge Cup banana skin against Enisei-STM on Friday.

The Rodney Parade region lost control of their own destiny with defeat at Castres on Saturday afternoon, a loss that means the French side will claim Pool One top spot with victory in Worcester on Friday night.

However, Toulon’s win at the Scarlets, and denying the Welsh region a bonus point, means that the Dragons’ fate is back in their own hands.

If they beat the Russians with a bonus as expected then the Dragons will at least claim one of the three best runners-up berths in the last eight as the Scarlets in Pool Two and Brive/Stade Francais/Zebre in Pool Four cannot overhaul their 20 points.

If Worcester beat Castres then the Dragons will win the group even if the Warriors claim a bonus, as Dean Ryan's men win the head-to-head with the English team.

However, the Dragons’ hopes of a home tie in the quarter-finals are slim even if they top Pool One and they could face an away quarter-final at Leicester, Bristol, Bordeaux or Toulon depending on results.

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