Preview: Sale v Dragons

Date published: January 27 2011

Dragons full-back Martyn Thomas is set to make is return for the Men of Gwent as they take on Sale Sharks in the LV= Cup.

Dragons full-back Martyn Thomas is set to make is return for the Men of Gwent as they take on Sale Sharks in the third round of the LV= Cup.
Thomas suffered a full dislocation of the ankle, ruptured ankle ligaments and five leg fractures during the Dragons' Magners League match against the Blues last season.
Elsewhere Joe Bearman and Matthew Watkins also make their returns to the side after long lay-offs through injury. Scott Roberts has joined the Region on permit from Bedwas to replace Ben Castle who is out with a knee injury. Steve Jones will head up the team and new scrum-half signing Mike Petri will be looking to make his Dragons debut off the bench.

Meanwhile, Ben Cohen and Dwayne Peel return to action for the Sharks.

Cohen and Peel have not been included in England and Wales' respective Six Nations squads and come back to boost temporary boss Pete Anglesea's cup options.

“We had two excellent performances back in November in the LV= Cup against London Irish and Leeds,” said the head coach.

“We are now looking to resume where we left off and the next two games in this competition are crucial. If we win them both, we stand a good chance of qualifying for the semi-finals in March.”

The teams:

Sale: 15 Nick Macleod; 14 Iain Thornley, 13 Jonny Kennedy, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Ben Cohen; 10 Rob Miller, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Sean Cox, 5 Nic Rouse, 4 Chris Jones, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Lee Imiolek.
Replacements: 16 Ben Roberts, 17 Aston Croall, 18 Simon McIntyre, 19 Wame Lewaravu, 20 Chris Brightwell, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Andy Tuilagi, 23 Paul Williams.

Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Will Harries, 13 Matthew Watkins, 12 Pat Leach, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Matthew Jones, 9 Jon Evans, 8 Hugo Ellis, 7 Lewis Evans, 6 Joe Bearman, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Scott Morgan, 3 Pat Palmer, 2 Steve Jones (c), 1 Scott Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Lloyd Burns, 17 Phil Price, 18 Gethin Robinson, 19 Adam Jones, 20 Gavin Thomas, 21 Mike Petri, 22 Adam Hughes, 23 Jason Tovey.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)