Pro14: Dragons' Harrison Keddie suffers shoulder injury

Harrison Keddie
Harrison Keddie is a former Wales Under-20s back-rower
Pro14: Dragons v Southern Kings
Date: Saturday, 30 September Venue: Rodney Parade, Newport Kick-off: 19:35 BST
Coverage: Live on S4C. Live scores on the BBC Sport website. Highlights later online and on Scrum V on Sunday

Dragons have suffered a back-row injury blow with Harrison Keddie to undergo shoulder surgery which will rule him out until at least late November, 2017.

Keddie suffered the injury during the 21-8 victory over Connacht and has not been named in Dragons' initial 41-man squad for the European Challenge Cup.

It further limits the Dragons ball-carrying options following the retirement of Ed Jackson.

Former captain Lewis Evans is not yet fit to return after an Achilles injury.

Flanker James Thomas should be fit to face Southern Kings at Rodney Parade in the Pro14 on Saturday and could line up alongside Ollie Griffiths and James Benjamin in the Dragons back-row.

Dragons to revert to team that beat Connacht

Wales centre Tyler Morgan has also shaken off a rib injury sustained in the victory over Connacht.

The Dragons are set to field virtually the same side that defeated the Irish province at Rodney Parade before Bernard Jackman made 13 changes for the visit to Ulster.

The second-string side lost 52-25, conceding eight tries to prompt stinging criticism from former Ireland flanker and now BBC pundit Andy Ward.

Ward claimed the Dragons were a "poor professional outfit" and questioned whether the players were strong enough.

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Dragons under fire

Dragons defence coach Hendre Marnitz defended the selection policy and brushed off Ward's criticisms.

"We respect his opinion and we will work with it," said Marnitz.

"There are a lot of questions being asked about the team we played against Ulster.

"We made 118 tackles in that second-half alone against Connacht and we picked up a lot of bumps and bruises and we have to manage.

"You have to give opportunities to others that are in the squad and you have a baptism of fire.

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"It was a harsh learning curve in Belfast.

"The nice thing about sport is that everyone has opinions. If you look at the age of the players we played they are young and need to develop further in the gym.

"The conditioning side of things will take a little time and you can't expect them at 20 to be fully developed.

"These players need to get exposure at the highest level and we gave them that against Ulster."