Dragons Suffering from Deja-vu as it’s Munster Aga

It is back to Celtic League action for the Newport Gwent Dragons on Saturday night when they take on Munster at Musgrave Park kick off 5.30pm.

This is the third time in the space of seven weeks that The Dragons and Munster have gone head-to-head, the other two matches being in the Heineken Cup. Munster may have won both those matches but The Dragons put on a spirited display at Thomond Park and with ten minutes on the clock were leading against the Irish Province.

The Dragons have named a squad of 24 for Saturday’s match and have included Gareth Cooper and Ceri Sweeney in the squad for the game. Also included are youngsters Richard Fussell and Aled Thomas who both gave a good account of themselves in the European match in December.

Luke Charteris and Gareth Chapman are both still ruled out with injuries along with long term injuries to Gareth Wyatt, Nathan Brew, Kevin Morgan and Kieran Crawford. However, there is good news for The Dragons with prop Chris Anthony playing for the Newport club side on the weekend having recovered from a long term shoulder injury.

Coach Paul Turner speaking on the game commented,

“Travelling to Munster does not phase us as a squad. We performed very well in the recent Heineken Cup match in December and have taken heart from that performance. Munster are currently top of the Celtic League table and have been performing very well as recently shown in last week’s impressive win over Guinness Premiership leaders Sale Sharks. On their home patch they are a formidable team, however, we travel with confidence. We have won three from four matches this year and I have been pleased with our recent performances. If we maintain a level of performance that I know we are capable of, then there is no doubt that we can leave Munster with a win under our belts. Our squad has been disrupted with international call ups however, it again provides an opportunity for the younger members of the squad to show what they can do. They have already gained valuable experience from Europe and will look to build on this now in the Celtic League.”

Dragons Academy player and Bedwas born Richard Wilkes (19) has been drafted into the Dragons squad as cover for hooker Steve Jones who left the field with a thigh injury in last weekend’s Heineken Cup game against Castres a final decision will be made after Captain’s Run on Friday.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s clash with Munster wing Richard Fussell said,

“Munster are a difficult team to play against especially over in Ireland. They are strong in all facets of the game and will be looking to play an expansive game. We cannot afford any complacency against Munster as we know what to expect having played them on two occasions already this season. However, we are playing them on their home patch so they will be fired up but it is important that we focus on our own objectives and keep fighting for a place in Europe next season, that is our immediate objective to keep moving up the Celtic League to ensure we secure that all important Heineken Cup action for next season. I have gained valuable experience already from playing in the Heineken Cup which has taught me a lot and now I aim to use this experience for the rest of the season.”

Dragons Squad
Aled Thomas, Leigh Hinton, Richard Fussell, Sione Tuipulotu, Jon Bryant, Ceri Sweeney, Craig Warlow, Ben Breeze, Gareth Baber, Gareth Cooper, Adam Black, David Maddocks, Steve Jones, Andrew Brown, Richard Wilkes, Rhys Thomas, Gethin Robinson, Bryn Griffiths, Andrew Hall, Peter Sidoli, Jamie Ringer, Jason Forster (c), Rhys Oakley, Shawn Van Rensburg.

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