LEWIS Evans will add some steel to the Dragons Premiership Select XV’s pack for another encounter with formidable English Championship opposition in Ystrad Mynach on Saturday.

The back row forward, the region’s record appearance holder with a tally of 204, will make his first appearance of the campaign against Jersey (kick-off 2.30pm) in the British & Irish Cup following a pre-season Achilles injury.

The 30-year-old will be aiming to show head coach Bernard Jackman that he is sharp enough to feature in the Guinness PRO14 derby at the Ospreys next weekend.

His presence counters the loss of scrum-half Charlie Davies, who has returned to the senior squad to face Enisei-STM in the European Challenge Cup after being skipper in the B&I Cup opener at London Scottish.

The Dragons were downed 27-20 in Richmond and are expecting an even sterner test against Jersey at Caerphilly County Borough Centre for Sporting Excellence.

The Reds were runners-up in last year’s tournament, losing by a point to Munster A in a tense final in Cork, and opened their effort to go one better by easing past Yorkshire Carnegie 32-3 in the Channel Islands.

“Lewis Evans gives us a bit of experience in the pack, which will be great for us,” said Dragons academy manager James Chapron.

“Scottish, to be fair, exploited us at the set piece, so we have to work hard at that because Jersey will be bigger and better.

“They are probably more threatening up front than Scottish; they are bigger and heavier.

“Jersey won’t rotate as much and will come at us with more of their first team, so it will be a bigger challenge.”

The Dragons left Scottish with a consolation bonus point but, after tries from Cross Keys flanker Scott Matthews and Newport centre Chay Smith, were left to lament a pair of yellow cards that allowed their hosts to take control.

It leaves them with little margin for error if they are to make it through to the last eight.

“You have to win your home games if you want to qualify, which we do. Saturday is a big ask for us and we will see where we are,” said Chapron.

“Scottish was probably a typical round one game for us with lots of enthusiasm and effort but we lacked a bit of detail in some areas.

“It was week one and we had three sessions together, so this week we are not adding anything new in, we are just trying to get better at the detail.

“For our younger boys that live training experience, taking it into games and then reviewing is key and for the Premiership boys, who only train twice a week, we are training four days so they are getting a bit more time to review their performances and put it right.

“As coaches we are here to make players better, if we do that then the wins win come.”

The Dragons faced Jersey in the 2015/16 competition when they were beaten 24-12 in the Channel Islands but enjoyed a dramatic win in Gwent.

The visitors looked set to leave Cross Keys’ Pandy Park with the spoils when they led 27-23 with 10 seconds left but fly-half Arwel Robson finished off a stunning counter-attack for a 30-27 victory.

Chapron said: “I’d like a more comfortable game than that if I’m honest but I’d take the same result!”