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Preview: Dragons v Munster

02nd March 2012 13:27

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Save Tokula

Save Tokula: Swapped Waikato for Munster

Munster centre Save Tokula will make his debut for the Munstermen when they head to Rodney Parade to face the Dragons.

On the same day that Mick O'Driscoll will make his 200th appearance for the men in red, Tokula will notch up a landmark of a very different nature.

Tokula slots into the midfield in place of Danny Barnes who is out injured.

Elsewhere in the back-line, Simon Zebo is unavailable due to international commitments and is replaced out wide by Luke O'Dea.

Marcus Horan is the only member of the front-row that remains from the side that beat Cardiff, with prop Stephen Archer and hooker Denis Fogarty coming in for BJ Botha and Damien Varley respectively.

In the only other change, Dave Foley replaces Billy Holland in the second-row.

Welsh international Luke Charteris will don Dragons colours for the first time this season, with a combination of injury and international duty having kept him out of action thus far.

Jevon Groves moves into the back row to accommodate Charteris' arrival, taking over the number six jersey vacated by the injured Gavin Thomas. In the front row, prop Nathan Williams comes in for Phil Price.

There are three changes in the back-line, two enforced by injury. Wing Adam Hughes and full-back Martyn Thomas are ruled out of the clash and they are replaced by Tonderai Chavhanga and Will Harries. At fly-half, Lewis Robling dons the number ten jersey for the first time.

Form: Newport Gwent Dragons have won their last two games in the RaboDirect PRO12 against Edinburgh and Aironi but have not won three in a row in the competition since this time last year. The Dragons only reversal at Rodney Parade in the PRO12 this season was 6-10 to Scarlets on 30 December. The Men from Gwent have won just one of their last nine encounters with Irish provinces. Munster have won their last five games in all competitions since their 17-33 defeat at Ulster on 30 December. The Munstermen's solo defeat onWelsh turf in their last six visits was 13-19 at Ospreys on 3 December. The last five fixtures between the two teams have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst Munster have not won at Rodney Parade since 7 March 2009.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Will Harries , 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Andy Tuilagi, 12 Ashley Smith (c), 11 Aled Brew, 10 Lewis Robling, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Tom Brown, 7 Lewis Evans, 6 Jevon Groves, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Nathan Williams.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Phil Price, 18 Dan Way, 19 Hugo Ellis, 20 Darren Waters, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Jack Dixon, 23 Steffan Jones.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Luke O'Dea, 13 Save Tokula, 12 Lifeimi Mafi, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Mick O'Driscoll (capt), 4 Dave Foley, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Denis Fogarty, 1 Marcus Horan.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Scott Deasy, 23 Denis Hurley.

Date: Saturday, March 3
Kick-off:Venue: Rodney Parade
Referee: Carlo Damasco
Assistant Referees: Neil Hennessy and Rhys Thomas
TMO: Tony Rowlands

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