Preview: Dragons v Perpignan

Date published: November 17 2011

James Hook returns to Wales for the first time since joining Perpignan when the French side tackle the Dragons on Thursday.

The Dragons play host to Perpignan in Round Two of the Amlin Challenge Cup, which sees James Hook return to Wales for the first time since joining the French club.

Hook, who scored all of his side's points in last weekend's win over Exeter at home, lines up at fly-half once again for Perpignan's visit to Rodney Parade.

France internationals Nicolas Mas and Guilhem Guirado are left on the bench for the visitors while former Leicester prop Perry Freshwater leads the side.

The Dragons are without Wales flanker Dan Lydiate, who has an ankle injury, while Lloyd Burns makes his first start of the season following his return from the World Cup and Adam Jones replaces Scott Morgan in the second row.

The two sides are unbeaten in Pool 4, and the Dragons will want to make home ground advantage count following their 33-3 away win over Italian side I Cavalieri Prato.

The Dragons have only ever appeared in the Amlin Challenge Cup once, back in 2006 when they made the semi-finals and Darren Edwards' men will be targeting a knock-out stage place this time around.

Perpignan reached the last four of the Heineken Cup last season but have had mixed fortunes in the Top 14 so far this campaign.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Robert Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Dan Way, 2 Lloyd Burns, 1 Nathan Williams.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Phil Price, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Scott Morgan, 20 Andrew Coombs, 21 Joe Bedford, 22 Lewis Robling, 23 Steffan Jones.

Perpignan: 15 Jérôme Porical, 14 Adrien Plante, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Gavin Hume, 11 Julien Candelon, 10 James Hook, 9 Florian Cazenave, 8 Ovidiu Tonita, 7 Jean-Pierre Perez,6 Grégory Le Corvec, 5 Robins Tchale Watchou,4 Olivier Olibeau, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Perry Freshwater.
Replacements: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Jérôme Schuster, 18 Nicolas Mas, 19 Gerrie Britz, 20 Bertrand Guiry, 21 Rudolphe Coetzee, 22 David Mele, 23 Nicolas Laharrague.