Preview: Dragons v Scarlets

Date published: December 29 2011

Dragons head coach Darren Edwards has named the same starting line-up for Friday's RaboDirect PRO12 clash with the Scarlets.

Dragons head coach Darren Edwards has selected the same starting line-up for Friday's RaboDirect PRO12 game against the Scarlets.

The bench sees just one change from the side that missed out to the Blues before Christmas with back row Lewis Evans in for Darren Waters.

Meanwhile in the Scarlets camp, with such a tight turnaround between games and a core of their emerging talent eager to take their opportunities after strong performances earlier in the season, Nigel Davies has selected a fresh team retaining one player from the starting XV and all eight substitutes from the team that beat the Ospreys.

To manage the scheduling of these games, the Scarlets trained pre-Christmas with two separate 22's for their two Welsh derby encounters – bringing more focus into the game preparations and a level of competition and responsibility into their team environment over the past fortnight.

“I have made this team selection based on a strong belief that this is the right team to take to Rodney Parade and get a result; there's a potent balance of quality experience with fresh ambition from a number of emerging players who have shown great enthusiasm, talent and commitment to our shirt already this season,” said Davies.

“Given the physical impact of our last game coupled with a tight turnaround and the block of rugby ahead of us, it's good that we have the depth building in our squad now where we are able to train and prepare two separate teams in this way.

“The players across our group are eager to front up and that level of hunger and competition in our squad is something we should feel very positive about.

“We don't underestimate the size of the task ahead of us on Friday night but neither should anyone underestimate the competition for places within our squad and how close some of the calls on selection currently are.”

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Lewis Robling, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau. 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Danny Lydiate, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Lloyd Burns, 1 Nathan Williams.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Phil Price, 18 Dan Way, 19 Jevon Groves, 20 Lewis Evans, 21 Joe Bedford, 22 Anitelea Tuilagi, 23 Will Harries.

Scarlets: 15 Dan Newton, 14 Viliame Iongi, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Gareth Maule (capt), 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Stephen Jones , 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Sione Timani, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Iestyn Thomas, 18 Peter Edwards, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Richie Pugh, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Daniel Evans.

Date: Friday, December 30
Kick-off: 19:05
Venue: Rodney Parade
Referee: Neil Hennessy (Wales)
Assistant referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Huw David (Wales)
Television match official: Tony Rowlands (Wales)