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Featuring development sides from the Irish Provinces and Welsh Regions, the Celtic Cup has been introduced this season to prepare players, coaches, referees and other staff for professional rugby.

The Dragons opened the season with a 37-21 defeat to Cardiff Blues A last week and are now looking to bounce back against a Connacht side that also lost out - 24-16 to Munster A - in the opening round of fixtures.

Head Coach Bernard Jackman is hoping some of his young Dragons will push for a senior call-up with an impressive show in the Celtic Cup.

“The Celtic Cup competition gives players the chance to get game time,” he said. “We get to see them playing against their peers and you are hoping they put their hand up and give you a selection headache.

“In the Premiership we can get some game time into other players. I went to watch Newport against Bargoed last Sunday to see (Rynard) Landman and (Nic) Cudd.

“We are very lucky in that we are have an avenue to play every one in our squad at the moment and that is a big help.

"We tell the players every week that they have got to be ready when they have a chance. You have to fight to get in, and when you are in you have to fight to stay in," he added.

"We didn't have that situation last year. We picked players who were fit and that can lead to complacency and lack of accountability. The boys now know they have to perform."

Supporters are advised that entry is FREE for Season Ticket holders – but must present their card – and Under-16s. Adult entry is £5.

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