Dragons hopeful over Basham return


Dean Ryan has revealed he is optimistic that back row ace Taine Basham will be available for the Guinness PRO14 showdown with Benetton Rugby at Rodney Parade on Saturday (kick-off 7.35pm).

Basham, 20, was last week officially called into the Wales squad for the Guinness Six Nations.

With no international fixture this weekend the Director of Dragons Rugby is confident Basham – who has scored eight tries in 15 games this season - could be released back for the league encounter in Newport.

And Ryan is hopeful his experience in the Wales camp under Wayne Pivac will give Basham the platform to continue to excel in the latter stages of this season.

“We’re in communication with Wales and at the moment he is free to play, but he is training with them in the week so we have got to balance that with our selection,” revealed Ryan.

“It’s credit to Taine that he has been called up by Wales, but it’s also a new challenge because he is still learning the game,” he added.

“I’ve no doubt about his potential – everyone can see that.

“Taine now needs to come out of the Six Nations with real momentum into the tail-end of the season.

“We’ve talked about going into Wales camp and enjoying it, learning from it and then turning into a contender.

“You only do that by playing, you don’t do it on training fields. He needs to come back, play well and get momentum at the end of the season.

“It’s a great opportunity for Taine and it’s not just about working with Sam Warburton – Justin Tipuric has great experience too.

“Being around them and understanding what it’s like to prepare for a Test match and the emotional pressure around a team in the Six Nations is an enormous experience. For Taine to get a front row seat in that is a great opportunity to learn.”

Watch the Dragons when they welcome their Italian counterparts to Rodney Parade this Saturday (kick-off 7:35pm). Click HERE to buy your tickets and join us for more top Guinness PRO14 action.

We’ve talked about going into Wales camp and enjoying it, learning from it and then turning into a contender...
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