Preview: Dragons v Treviso

Date published: January 5 2017

Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones has made three personnel changes to his starting side that will face Treviso at Rodney Parade on Friday.

There is one change to the back three as wing Tom Prydie is named with fellow wing Pat Howard and full-back Carl Meyer. The centre partnership also has one change made to it as Adam Warren partners Tyler Morgan. Fly-half Angus O’Brien retains his position, with South African scrum-half Sarel Pretorius named in the half-backs.

The front-row remains unchanged with hooker Elliot Dee named alongside props Phil Price and Brok Harris. The second-row sees Nick Crosswell and Welsh international Cory Hill named, with the back-row also remaining unchanged as skipper Lewis Evans given the nod with fellow flanker Ollie Griffiths and number eight Ed Jackson.

The replacements bench sees the return of Nic Cudd and Jack Dixon whilst Tavis Knoyle is named on the bench too. They join Rhys Buckley, Sam Hobbs, Lloyd Fairbrother, Rynard Landman and Dorian Jones.

“This week I get a start and it’s a great opportunity for me, so I will do my best. I always try to bring a positive vibe and make a difference when I come on,” said scrum-half Pretorius.

“We have a good record at home but we lost unfortunately to the Ospreys. However, it’s a new year now with new goals and we just need to stay positive. I think that we can achieve good things at the Dragons.”

Meanwhile, Treviso head coach Kieran Crowley makes three changes to his injury-hit side.

Full-back will be Luke McLean, who lines up in the middle of wings Andrea Pratichetti and Luca Sperandio. Tommaso Benvenuti and captain Alberto Sgarbi will be the centres.

The half-backs are Tito Tebaldi at scrum-half and Tommaso Allan at fly-half.

The front-row will consist of Alberto De Marchi, Davide Giazzon and Matteo Zanusso. Locks will be Marco Fuser and Dean Budd.

Finally, the back-row sees Robert Barbieri, Abraham Steyn and Marco Barbini completing the XV chosen by Crowley.

Form: Dragons have lost their last three matches in the PRO12 since beating Edinburgh at Rodney Parade on 27 November. The Welshmen’s 0-10 reversal to Ospreys on New Year’s Day ended a five game winning run in all competitions at Rodney Parade. Treviso’s three game winning run in first team fixtures came to an end when Glasgow Warriors visited Stadio Monigo on New Year’s Eve. Treviso won their most recent away game 28-15 in Bayonne in the European Challenge Cup but have not won successive matches on their travels since 2011, whilst their most recent victory on the road in the PRO12 was 26-16 at Zebre in December 2014. Treviso have won their last two encounters with Dragons but these were played at Stadio Monigo, the Italians have not been victorious at Rodney Parade since a single point triumph in April 2012.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Ollie Griffiths, 6 Lewis Evans (c), 5 Cory Hill, 4 Nick Crosswell, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Phil Price
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Rynard Landman, 20 Nic Cudd, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Dorian Jones, 23 Jack Dixon

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Andrea Pratichetti, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi (c), 11 Luca Sperandio, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Marco Barbini, 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Abraham Steyn, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Matteo Zanusso, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Alberto De Marchi
Replacements: 16 Ornel Gega, 17 Federico Zani, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Teofilo Paulo, 20 Marco Lazzaroni, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 Tommaso Iannone

Date: Friday, January 6
Venue: Rodney Parade
Kick-off: 19:15 GMT
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: Sam Grove-White (Scotland), Sean Brickell (Wales)

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