Preview: Dragons v Edinburgh

Date published: February 17 2012

Edinburgh tackle the Dragons at Rodney Parade where they begin three consecutive RaboDirect PRO12 games on the road.

Edinburgh head coach Michael Bradley has called on his side to “embrace the opportunity” presented by three consecutive games on the road, starting at Rodney Parade.

Despite a historic Heineken Cup campaign, with the club hosting its first home quarter-final on Easter weekend (Saturday 7 April), Edinburgh – currently ninth in the RaboDirect PRO12 – have registered just one away win in the championship this season (against Treviso in November).

Edinburgh's opportunities to address this sequence come against two of the three sides placed below them in the division – Dragons and Connacht the week after – before taking on an in-form Ulster side at Ravenhill.

“Edinburgh have delivered some very impressive performances at home and away in the Heineken Cup and have come very close to delivering our home form on the road in the RaboDirect PRO12,” said Bradley.

“These next three games away from home will provide a stern mental test for our players but we must embrace this opportunity to front-up and address the gaps in our performances outside of Murrayfield.”

Bradley named just three changes to the starting side that travels to Wales.

Sep Visser is promoted from the bench to start his first competitive match alongside his top try-scoring elder brother, Tim, while recent Scotland A debutant Tom Brown earns his second start at full-back in place of the injured Chris Paterson (groin).

The forward pack is unchanged with Jim Thompson and Hamish Watson the only changes to the bench as the full-back and back row replacements.

Meanwhile, Dragons loose forward Lewis Evans has returned from a calf injury to start for the Welsh region.

Ashley Smith captains the side which sees wing Aled Brew make his 100th appearance for the Dragons.

Form: Dragons have won just one of their last five matches: 45-16 at home to Prato in the European Challenge Cup on 21 January. Dragons' only victory in the RaboDirect PRO12 since September was 21-20 at home to Ospreys on 6 January. Edinburgh have not won in the RaboDirect PRO12 since they beat Aironi 50-10 at Murrayfield on 2 December, whilst their only away win in the competition so far this season was 22-11 in Treviso in round eight. The Scotsmen have lost all five matches against Welsh regions in the PRO12 this season. Each side won its respective home game when the two sides met last season. Edinburgh's most recent victory at Rodney Parade was 37-11 on 13 May 2006.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Andy Tuilagi, 12 Ashley Smith (c), 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Joe Bedford,8 Gavin Thomas, 7 Darren Waters, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Rob Sidoli,4 Jevon Groves, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Nathan Williams.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Phil Price, Dan Way, Hugo Ellis, Tom Brown, Jon Evans, Lewis Robling, Will Harries.

Edinburgh: 15 Tom Brown, 14 Sep Visser, 13 Matt Scott, 12 John Houston, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Chris Leck, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Roddy Grant (c), 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Jack Gilding, 2 Alun Walker, 1 Kyle Traynor.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Ulises Gamboa, 19 Esteban Lozada, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Alex Black, 22 Gregor Hunter, 23 Jim Thompson.

Date: Saturday, 21 February
Venue: Rodney Parade
Kick-off: 18:30 GMT
Referee: Alan Falzone