Newport Gwent Dragons v Edinburgh match preview
The Dragons will be keen to get back to winning ways as they take to the field at Rodney Parade versus rivals Edinburgh this Friday, 28th September.
With the Dragons’ first choice back row of Lewis Evans, Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau reunited, and with inform Jonathan Evans at scrum half and danger man Adam Hughes moved out to the wing, they will be doing their utmost to secure a win.
The opposition, Edinburgh, have given mixed performances this season but if their pack performs as they did against the Blues then they have the tools to trouble the home side. The Dragons struggled slightly up front away against Munster last weekend, although they were unlucky to be on the receiving end of a 33-13 defeat, having had two of their own try chances held up.
Edinburgh approach this game off the back of a loss albeit with a hard earned losing bonus point against Leinster but the return of Visser and Rennie to the starting line-up gives them a boost. The decision of resting Laidlaw could prove decisive as he has been one of their standout players so far and they will hope that replacement fly half Leonard will be able to assert the same form as last season.
The Scottish side do not have many happy memories of visiting the Dragons’ ground, having not won there since 2006, but having secured two losing bonus points to go with their two wins this season; they are clearly a side on form and can pose a real danger of getting a crucial away win.
The Dragons will look back on the double they achieved over their opponents last season as something for them to build on. Captain Lewis Evans spoke before the season started about the importance of home victories and creating a fortress at Rodney Parade, and with the help of their passionate fans they will be looking to secure their much needed second win of the season.
Both teams are fielding young squads, with opportunities for players such as Dan Evans, Tom Prydie and Harry Leonard to really make the step up to impress. With both teams having dangerous and exciting backlines, if the platform can be provided by the packs, this match could provide the opportunity for some serious running rugby in Wales.
Kick Off: 7pm
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)
Dragons: 15 Dan Evans; 14 Adam Hughes 13 Pat Leach, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tom Prydie; 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans; 1 Phil Price, 2 Steve Jones, 3 Dan Way, 4 Ian Nimmo, 5 Adam Jones, 6 Dan Lydiate, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Lewis Evans (capt).
Replacements: 16Sam Parry, 17Aaron Coundley, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Jevon Groves, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Ashley Smith, 23 Will Harries.
Edinburgh: 15Greig Tonks 14 Tom Brown 13 Nick De Luca 12 Ben Atiga 11 Tim Visser 10 Harry Leonard 9 Richie Rees 1 Allan Jacobsen 2 Andy Titterrell 3 Geoff Cross 4 Robert McAlpine 5 Sean Cox CAPTAIN 6 Stuart McInally 7 Ross Rennie 8 Netani Talei
Replacements: 16 Alun Walker 17 John Yapp 18 Lewis Niven 19 Dimitri Basilaia 20 Roddy Grant 21 Chris Leck 22 John Houston 23 Dougie Fife