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Preview: Dragons v Saracens

02nd February 2012 12:57

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joel tomkins saracens 2012

Another chance: Joel Tomkins

Dragons have made several changes to their side to face Saracens in their final LV= Cup group fixture at Rodney Parade on Friday.

The Welsh region name a more senior side with a number of the younger players who played last week like Ieuan Jones, Jonathan Evans and Luke Williams away with Wales U20s playing Ireland.

In all there are ten changes in the line-up with a further two positional changes, Lewis Robling shifts from inside centre to the pivotal outside half position and Jamie Smith moves to the wing.

In the pack Sam Parry retains his place at hooker, as does Jevon Groves in the second row and Darren Waters at openside flanker.

"It is always great to play the English sides in competitions like this. There is always a different flavour to the games and they pose different challenges for both the players and coaches," said Dragons coach Rob Appleyard.

"We have taken this competition very seriously this season, taking it as an opportunity to blood players who we feel will develop into important senior players here at the region. We have shown this intent once again in our selection tonight and have shown faith in guys like Sam Parry and Lewis Robling by selecting them in important positions for us."

Meanwhile, Saracens give Joel Tomkins the chance to pick up where he left off against Worcester Warriors last weekend with the former Wigan Warrior named at centre.

Other changes see Luke Baldwin start at scrum-half while Chris Wyles returns to start at full-back. Duncan Taylor moves to the wing.

That means that Peter Stringer and Kameli Ratuvou move to the bench while after training with the England squad this week, Alex Goode also returns.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Aled Brew, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Ashley Smith (capt), 11 Jamie Smith, 10 Lewis Robling, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Tom Brown, 7 Darren Waters, 6 Gavin Thomas, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Jevon Groves, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Nathan Williams.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Phil Price, 18 Dan Way, 19 Royce Cadman, 20 Hugo Ellis, 21 Joe Bedford, 22 Andy Tuilagi, 23 Steffan Jones.

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Duncan Taylor, 10 Nils Mordt, 9 Luke Baldwin, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Justin Melck, 5 Eoin Sherriff, 4 George Kruis, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Jamie George (capt), 1 John Smit.
Replacements: 16 Harry Allen, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Hugh Vyvyan, 20 Tom Jubb, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Alex Goode, 23 Kameli Ratuvou.

Date: Friday, February 3
Kick-off: 19:30
Venue: Rodney Parade
Referee: tbc

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Group A
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PosTeamPPts
1Saracens416
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3London Irish46
4Dragons44