Newport Gwent Dragons have announced their team for Friday night’s Celtic League clash against Leinster at Donnybrook, kick off 7.10pm and have made six changes due to injury and squad rotations to the team that narrowly lost to the Ospreys.
In the back line Sione Tuipulotu replaces Jon Bryant who goes to the replacements bench while Leigh Hinton will make his competitive debut for The Dragons on the wing and takes over from Ben Breeze. Craig Warlow and Gareth Baber remain the half back partnership.
Ceri Sweeney (groin), Richard Fussell (shoulder) and Peter Sidoli (elbow) are ruled out with injuries. Kevin Morgan takes over the captaincy from Jason Forster who is named on the replacements bench due to squad rotation. Prop David Maddocks also makes his competitive debut for The Dragons after joining the Region from the Scarlets in the summer. Steve Jones is welcomed back into the starting XV after recovering from a knee injury. Ian Gough and Luke Charteris remain as the second row partnership while there is a reshuffle in the back row. Andrew Hall comes in at blindside flanker with Jamie Ringer moving to openside flanker. At No.8 Rhys Oakley makes his first start for The Dragons this season.
“Leinster will pose an immense challenge to us on Friday and it is our third away match on the bounce,” commented Coach Paul Turner. “Naturally we are disappointed to have lost to The Ospreys especially as we had chances to win. However, we have to put that defeat behind us. We know there are areas that need a vast improvement and we are aiming to put those areas right on Friday night. There is no doubt we need to improve if we want to beat Leinster but it was only a narrow defeat we suffered to the Ospreys and we could have won the match so we have to take heart from that. Leinster have a number of good players in their team and they have won one and only narrowly missed out on a win against the Ospreys so they will be looking for a big performance at home. We will aim to get into them early on and keep the pressure on them.”
On the replacements bench Newport hooker Andrew Brown is named along with development player Aled Thomas.
Kevin Morgan (c), Gareth Wyatt, Hal Luscombe, Sione Tuipulotu, Leigh Hinton, Craig Warlow, Gareth Baber, David Maddocks, Steve Jones, Rhys Thomas, Ian Gough, Luke Charteris, Andrew Hall, Jamie Ringer, Rhys Oakley
Andrew Brown, Adam Black, Gethin Robinson, Jason Forster, Richard Bryan, Jon Bryant, Aled Thomas