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Match Preview

Dragons Head Coach, Bernard Jackman has made four changes to the team that faced Ulster last weekend, seeing Arwel Robson make his European Rugby Challenge Cup debut.

As the Welsh Region returns to Challenge Cup action this weekend, the 20-year-old is joined in the half-backs by scrum-half Dan Babos who will also make his European bow on home turf this Friday night, KO 19:30. 

Outside of the half-backs is an unchanged centre paring of Adam Warren and Jack Dixon whilst there is one change in the back three as Pat Howard joins Jared Rosser on the wing with one of last weekend’s try scorer Angus O’Brien at full-back.

The front row sees the return of loosehead prop Thomas Davies as he packs down alongside hooker Liam Belcher and tighthead prop Lloyd Fairbrother. The second row also has one change made to it as Joe Davies is joined by Rynard Landman, whilst the back row remains unchanged with flankers Aaron Wainwright and skipper Ollie Griffiths retaining their positions alongside number 8 James Benjamin.

Dragons’ Head Coach, Bernard Jackman commented: “The group who played against Ulster performed reasonably well and they deserve another crack at backing it up.

“Character is everything. Character is more important than talent. But now we have to back it up, we can’t just do it when we are being put under pressure.

“It’s easy to do that when fighting your way out of a corner. Can we do it next week when people are saying ‘well done, you’ve had a great match’? That’s the challenge now.”

He continued: “The biggest question against Ulster was about character. We showed that and hopefully the fans are starting to get prouder of us.

“When we play like that, with spirit and heart, they get attached to it. We played some good stuff and I don’t think we were lucky to get a draw, it was deserved.

“I think we just need to represent the region well. Fans will accept this year if we don’t win every game and if they see big commitment, sacrifice and abrasiveness then they are going to follow us.”

The replacements bench sees James Sheekey, Ben Roach, Owain Leonard and Robson Blake are all set to make their European debuts and are joined by Gerard Ellis, Sam Hobbs, Ben Roach and Gavin Henson.

Dragons team to face Enisei-STM

15 Angus O’Brien, 14 Pat Howard, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Jared Rosser, 10 Arwel Robson, 9 Dan Babos; 1 Thomas Davies, 2 Liam Belcher, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 4 Joe Davies, 5 Rynard Landman, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Ollie Griffiths ©, 8 James Benjamin.

Replacements; Gerard Ellis, Luke Garrett, Sam Hobbs, James Sheekey, Ben Roach, Owain Leonard, Gavin Henson, Robson Blake.

Tickets are currently on sale for both of our European Rugby Challenge Cup clashes as well as our festive derbies against Cardiff Blues and Ospreys, on Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve respectively. Supporters are urged to buy in advance for these festive derbies by clicking here, or calling 01633 674990.


Head to Head Statistics

Dragons       Enisei STM

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Friday December 21

Cardiff Blues


Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff

KO 7:35 PM

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