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Match Preview

Dragons recall five Wales internationals for the European Challenge Cup away clash with ASM Clermont Auvergne at the Stade Marcel-Michelin on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 1pm GMT).

Captain Cory Hill is among seven changes to the starting line-up as Dragons head to France to face the Top14 giants who currently top Pool 1 with an undefeated record.

A new-look back row for the Round 4 encounter will see Hill play at blindside flanker and pack down with Aaron Wainwright and Number Eight Ross Moriarty.

Hooker Elliot Dee is also recalled, after his autumn exploits in the international set-up, while lock Matthew Screech is named in the second row alongside Brandon Nansen.

Prop Aaron Jarvis starts against his former team, having played for Clermont between 2016 and 2018, after being named in the front row. Lloyd Fairbrother misses the game through injury.

The one change in the back line is a return for centre Tyler Morgan. Zane Kirchner is named at full back while Adam Warren and Hallam Amos move to the wing.

Gerard Ellis could make his first senior appearance this season from the bench where there are also returns for scrum half Rhodri Williams and fit-again fly half Gavin Henson.

Coach Ceri Jones said: “It is a huge challenge away at Clermont, one of the in-form teams in European rugby who boast a strong home record. All the players are looking forward to the test and playing in the Stade Marcel-Michelin.

“We welcome back our Welsh internationals, who will give the team a lift, and the squad is determined to put in a big performance as we look to build momentum before the derby games over the festive period.”

Dragons (v ASM Clermont Auvergne): Zane Kirchner, Adam Warren, Tyler Morgan, Jack Dixon, Hallam Amos, Josh Lewis, Tavis Knoyle; Ryan Bevington, Elliot Dee, Aaron Jarvis, Brandon Nansen, Matthew Screech, Cory Hill (c), Aaron Wainwright, Ross Moriarty

Replacements: Rhys Lawrence, Gerard Ellis, Nicky Thomas, Huw Taylor, James Benjamin, Rhodri Williams, Gavin Henson, Jordan Williams

ASM Clermont Auvergne: Isaia Toeava, Peter Betham, Apisai Naqalevu, Wesley Fofana, Remy Grosso, Camille Lopez, Greig Laidlaw; Loni Uhila, Yohan Beheregaray, Michael Simutoga, Paul Jedrasiak, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Arthur Iturria, Judicael Cancoriet, Fritz Lee (c)

Replacements:John Ulugia, Etienne Falgoux, Sipili Falatea, Sitaleki Timani, Maxence Lemardelet, Charlie Cassang, Patricio Fernandez, Damian Penaud

Head to Head Statistics

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Friday December 21

Cardiff Blues

GP14

Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff

KO 7:35 PM

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