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Preview: Dragons v Ospreys

25th January 2013 09:22

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SKY_MOBILE Rhys Webb - Ospreys - 16/12/11

Rhys Webb: Leads Ospreys

Dragons young guns dominate the starting line-up to face fellow Welsh region the Ospreys at Rodney Parade on Saturday.

Scrum-half Rhys Downes, who is on loan from Newport RFC, gets a place on the men of Gwent's bench, he is joined by both Aaron Coundley and Pat Leach who both return from injury.

Matthew Pewtner makes his first start of the season after returning from injury.

"This game is a chance for me to impress my Dragons and Wales U20's coaches in a derby game. It will be tough as the Ospreys will have players in a similar position who will want to show what they can do," said Ieuan Jones.

Meanwhile, Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy has named his team to take on the Dragons with Rhys Webb set to lead the side for the first time.

"It's the first time I've ever been captain so I'm really honoured by that," said the scrum-half.

"Growing up, captaining your local team is always something that you dream of doing so hopefully I can lead by example, and put in a real captain's performance.

"I'm really looking forward to the next couple of games. I haven't had as much game time this season as I would have hoped, and when you get the opportunity to pull on the shirt it's up to you to take your chance.

"I'm just really excited to get back on the pitch and hopefully getting plenty of minutes under my belt so that I can hopefully kick on from there."

Form: Dragons have slipped to five straight defeats in all competitions since beating Mogliano home and away in the European Challenge Cup in December. Dragons' only win in the LV= Cup in their last seven ties was 30-29 at London Wasps on 22 October 2011. All three of Dragons previous encounters with fellow Welsh Regions in this tournament have been won by the home side on the day. Ospreys only away win in any competition since early October was in this equivalent fixture in the PRO12 at Rodney Parade on New Year's Eve. Ospreys have won their last seven matches against fellow Welsh regions in all competitions. The two teams have met twice before in the LV= Cup with Dragons victorious 40-19 at Rodney Parade in January 2010, and Ospreys taking the clash in Bridgend 26-21 in January 2012.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Matthew Pewtner, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Mike Poole, 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans; 8 Nathan Williams, 7 Sam Parry, 6 Dan Way, 5 Adam Jones, 4 Rob Sidoli, 3 Lewis Evans (c), 2 Nic Cudd, 1 Ieuan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Aaron Coundley, 18 Tim Ryan, 19 Ian Nimmo, 20 Jevon Groves, 21 Rhys Downes, 22 Dan Evans, 21 Pat Leach.

Ospreys: 15 Jamie Murphy, 14 Tom Grabham, 13 Jonathan Spratt, 12 Ben John, 11 Dafydd Howells, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Rhys Webb (c), 8 Morgan Allen, 7 Arthur Ellis, 6 Jonathan Thomas, 5 Rhodri Hughes, 4 Sam Williams, 3 Daniel Suter, 2 Matthew Dwyer, 1 Marc Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Dmitri Arhip, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Campbell Johnstone, 19 Dan Baker, 20 Rob Dudley-Jones, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Nathan Edwards.

Date: Saturday, January 26
Kick-off: 18:30
Venue: Rodney Parade
Referee: Llyr ApGeraint-Roberts (England)
Assistant referees: Simon Rees (Wales), Neil Perkins (Wales)
Television match official: Tony Rowlands (Wales)

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4Dragons44