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Preview: Dragons v Zebre

03rd October 2013 11:57

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Toby Faletau Newport Gwent Dragons

Toby Faletau: Starts at eight for Dragons

The Dragons have made several changes to their starting XV for Friday's PRO12 clash with Zebre at Rodney Parade.

Adam Hughes steps up from the bench to start on the right wing in place Matthew Pewtner while Hallam Amos replaces Tom Prydie on the left wing.

International scrum-half Richie Rees comes into the run-on XV for Jonathan Evans while Jason Tovey takes over from Kris Burton at fly-half.

The front row has also had a bit of a reshuffle with Owen Evans and Sam Parry stepping in alongside Franciso Chaparro. Skipper Andrew Coombs moves to number four and Rob Sidoli comes in at number five. He returns to the second row with Coombs to get his first start of the season.

Sidoli is keen to impress in his first start of the season.

"We need to put everything in place and perform," he said.

"They've (Zebre) improved a lot, I think that they are a genuine threat as they had a really good result against the Blues which was away for them and they have some really good individuals and their core basics are very strong; they will have a good driving line outs and scrum so those are the things we need to get up to speed on quite quick."

British and Irish Lions stalwart Toby Faletau returns to the number eight jersey and he joins Netani Talei and Lewis Evans in the back row.

The centre paring stay the same with the two youngsters Jack Dixon and Ross Wardle, whilst Dan Evans keeps the full-back berth

Meanwhile, Zebre boss Andrea Cavinato has made four changes to his starting XV after last weekend's defeat to Glasgow.

Amongst the backs, Dion Berryman gets a start on the left wing with Leonardo Sarto moving over to the right wing where he replaces David Odiete.

There is also a new midfield combination with Tommaso Iannone and Gonzalo Garcia taking over from Kameli Ratuvou and Matteo Pratichetti.

Up front, there's only one change with Davide Giazzon taking over at hooker from Andrea Manici.

Form: Dragons last seven matches in the RaboDirect PRO12 have all been won by the home side on the day.Dragons have won their last four games against Italian opponents in all tournaments since losing out in Treviso in the PRO12 last December. Zebre return to the country where they recorded their maiden victory two weeks ago in Cardiff. Zebre gained a losing bonus point at home to Glasgow on Friday and are now going for a third successive league point scoring game for the first time in their history. Dragons have won both previous encounters between the two sides, although the meeting in February in Parma was by the narrowest of margins; 14-13.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Ross Wardle, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Lewis Evans, 6 Netani Talei, 5 Andrew Coombs (c), 4 Rob Sidoli, 3 Francisco Chaparro, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Owen Evans.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Phil Price, 18 Dan Way, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Ieuan Jones, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Kris Burton, 23 Will Harries.

Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Dion Berryman, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 6 Mauro Bergamasco, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 George Biagi, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Salvatore Peugini.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Carlo Fazzari, 19 Michael Van Vuuren, 20 Filippo Cristiano, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 David Odiete, 23 Giulio Toniolatti.

Date: Friday, October 4
Kick-off: 19:15 BST
Venue: Rodney Parade
Referee: Matteo Liperini (Italy)
Assistant referees : Simon Rees (Wales) and Gwyn Morris (Wales)
Citing Commissioner: Russell Howell (Wales)

  • Dragons Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
LV= Cup
Saturday , January 31
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Exeter15:00
Saturday , February 7
Newport Gwent D'gons vs London Welsh15:00
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Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
Sunday , December 21
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Zebre16:00
Friday , December 26
Cardiff Blues vs Newport Gwent D'gons14:05
Thursday , January 1
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues14:05
Sunday , January 11
Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
Wednesday, January 14
Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsTBC
Saturday , February 21
Newport Gwent D'gons vs ConnachtTBC
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , December 6
Bucuresti vs Newport Gwent D'gonsTBC
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  • Dragons Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
LV= Cup
Friday , November 14
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Friday , November 7
Harlequins 31 - 21 Newport Gwent D'gons
More LV= Cup results
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Ulster 23 - 6 Newport Gwent D'gons
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European Rugby Challenge Cup
Friday , October 24
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Saturday , October 18
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , October 11
Edinburgh 24 - 10 Newport Gwent D'gons
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  • Table
Group A
LV= Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens28
2Dragons25
3Bath25
4Gloucester25