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Seven changes for Benetton clash

14/01/2022

Boss Dean Ryan has made seven changes as Dragons travel to face Italian outfit Benetton Rugby in Round Three of the European Challenge Cup on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3:15pm, UK).

Internationals Gonzalo Bertranou, Will Rowlands and Jamie Roberts all return to the starting line-up for the first game of 2022.

Lock Rowlands starts in the second row, where he will partner fellow Welsh international Ben Carter, while props Greg Bateman and Chris Coleman line up either side of hooker Taylor Davies.

Three more changes to the Dragons backline sees the experienced Roberts return to partner Aneurin Owen in the centre.

Wing Jared Rosser and full back Ioan Davies - recalled from his loan spell with Jersey Reds - start in the back three.

Young fly half Will Reed could make his senior debut for the Men of Gwent after being named among the replacements for the trip to Italy.

Dean Ryan, Director of Dragons Rugby, said: “It’s an important game and we’ve still got a chance in this competition, but we also need to get back playing. That is the most important factor.

“We play Benetton twice over the next few weeks and it will be two very different sides for the fixtures because of the Six Nations.

“Benetton will be physical with a big set piece. I know Marco (Bortolami) very well. He is a smart coach and I’m looking forward to seeing him.”

Dragons: Ioan Davies, Jared Rosser, Aneurin Owen, Jamie Roberts, Rio Dyer, Sam Davies, Gonzalo Bertranou; Greg Bateman, Taylor Davies, Chris Coleman, Will Rowlands, Ben Carter, Harri Keddie (c), Taine Basham, Aaron Wainwright

Replacements: Ellis Shipp, Aki Seiuli, Leon Brown, Joe Maksymiw, Huw Taylor, Tavis Knoyle, Will Reed, Jordan Olowofela

It’s an important game and we’ve still got a chance in this competition, but we also need to get back playing. That is the most important factor...
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