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Preview: Dragons v Ospreys

14th April 2011 13:01

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Gavin Thomas dragons

Gavin Thomas: Back for Dragons

Darren Edwards has named his first team as Head Coach of the Dragons as the Men of Gwent take on the Ospreys at Rodney Parade on Friday.

Will Harries steps in for the injured Martyn Thomas at fullback whilst Adam Hughes moves on to the wing and Ashley Smith returns at inside centre with an unchanged half back pairing.

Back row Gavin Thomas returns for his first start since the jaw injury he picked up earlier in the season and Andrew Coombs moves into the second row to replace the injured Luke Charteris

"It was a blow to lose Luke after last week's game," said Edwards.

"And obviously it isn't ideal to have a back row player having to move into the tight five. But Andrew has played lock before and I'm confident that the team will pull together for today's match.

"It's not often that we can come into a home match looking to complete the double over a top 3 team but although today presents us with a lot of challenges, it also presents with an opportunity to make a little bit of history."

Meanwhile, Ospreys coach Scott Johnson has left departing Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips out of his matchday 23 for Friday's Magners League clash.

Rhys Webb will continue in the Ospreys' number nine shirt at Rodney Parade, with Tom Isaacs providing scrum-half bench cover.

The 51 times-capped Phillips, whose existing Ospreys contract does not expire until 2014, will be allowed to leave the Swansea-based region once he finds another club.

However Phillips does not even feature among a list of 12 Ospreys players currently unavailable through injury, suggesting Johnson and his coaching staff are already planning for life without him.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Will Harries, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Ashley Smith (c), 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Adam Jones, 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Ben Castle, 2 Lloyd Burns, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Dan Way, 18 Hugh Gustafson, 19 Lewis Evans, 20 Joe Bearman, 21 Matthew Pewtener, 22 Jon Evans, 23 Matthew Jones.

Ospreys: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 James Hook, 11 Nikki Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Jerry Collins, 7 Marty Holah, 6 Tom Smith 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Ryan Jones, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Cai Griffiths, 19 Ian Gough, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Tom Isaacs, 22 Sonny Parker, 23 Richard Fussell.

Date: Friday, 15 April
Venue: Rodney Parade
Kick-off: 19:05 BST

  • Dragons Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons15:00
Saturday , November 8
Harlequins vs Newport Gwent D'gons15:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , October 5
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
Saturday , October 11
Edinburgh vs Newport Gwent D'gons14:40
Saturday , November 1
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsTBC
Saturday , November 22
Newport Gwent D'gons vs MunsterTBC
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
Sunday , December 21
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Zebre16:00
Friday , December 26
Cardiff Blues vs Newport Gwent D'gons14:05
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 18
Stade Francais vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
  • Dragons Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Friday , September 12
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
Saturday , September 6
Connacht 16 - 11 Newport Gwent D'gons
More Guinness PRO12 results
  • Table
Group A
LV= Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens416
2Gloucester410
3London Irish46
4Dragons44