Planet Rugby

Preview: Dragons v Sale

05th November 2009 12:22


Shaun Connor

Shaun Connor: Calling the shots

Dragons fly-half Shaun Connor will become the fifth player to lead the region this season as the Welsh club take on Sale Sharks in the first round of the LV= Cup at Rodney Parade on Friday.

Although the injury problems at the Dragons have created some selection headaches, Connor is definitely the man for the job according to Head Coach Paul Turner.

"I am confident that Shaun will do a great job as captain," he said.

"As a former 10 myself I know that it is a position of leadership.

"James Arlidge and Jason Tovey have the same qualities from acting as the lieutenant and controlling the game, so it's not much of a step up to the captaincy.

"Although it is not ideal to have to change your leader so often, I think the more leaders and players taking responsibility we have on the pitch the better."

The Dragons come into this game off the back of their first away win in any competition since January as they defeated Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

Meanwhile, Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Kingsley Jones has selected his side for this weekend's Anglo-Welsh clash.

"We are expecting a very tough game," said Jones.

"Paul Turner has done a great job with the Dragons and they had an excellent result at the weekend when they won at Edinburgh.

"They also ran Gloucester very close in the Heineken Cup in October. This is a competition we are looking to do well in and I have named a team that I believe will do well."

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 William Harries, 13 Rhodri Gomer Davies, 12 Matthew Watkins, 11 Richard Fussell, 10 Shaun Connor (c), 9 Danny Lee, 8 Grant Webb, 7 James Harris, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Adam Jones, 4 Hoani Macdonald, 3 Pat Palmer, 2 Duane Goodfield, 1 Dan Watchurst.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Brown, 17 Hugh Gustafson, 18 Peter Bracken, 19 Toby Falatau, 20 Rob Sidoli, 21 Alex Walker, 22 Adam Greendale, 23 Matthew Pewtner.

Sale Sharks: 15 Nick Macleod, 14 Ben Cohen, 13 David Bishop, 12 Lee Thomas, 11 Marika Vakacegu, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Luke Abraham,6 James Gaskell, 5 Dean Schofield, 4 Sean Cox, 3 Jack Forster, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Eifion Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Rob O'Donnell, 18 Martin Halsall, 19 Kristian Ormsby, 20 Sisa Koyamaibole, 21 Dwayne Peel, 22 Mathew Tait, 23 Oriol Ripol.

Date: Friday, November 6
Venue: Rodney Parade
Kick-off: 19:30 GMT
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant referees: Huw David (Wales), David Jones (Wales)
Assessor: Les Peard (Wales), Tony Spreadbury

  • LV= Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Northampton vs Newcastle15:00
Sale vs Wasps15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons15:00
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets15:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
Saturday , November 8
Scarlets vs Northampton15:00
Ospreys vs Saracens15:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
  • LV= Cup Table
Group A
LV= Cup Table
3London Irish46
Group B
LV= Cup Table
2Sale Sharks412
3Cardiff Blues410
4Leicester Tigers49
Group C
LV= Cup Table
Group D
LV= Cup Table
2Newcastle Falcons49