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Preview: Dragons v Connacht

22nd November 2012 13:33

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Jack Dixon Wales Under-20s 2012

Jack Dixon: Chance to shine

The Dragons have rewarded Jack Dixon and Ieuan Jones with places on the bench to face Connacht in the RaboDirect PRO12 on Friday.

Wales U20 internationals Dixon and Jones impressed in the LV=Cup games over the past fortnight, so will be looking to make their most of their inclusion against Connacht.

The Dragons have also named Lewis Evans and Phil Price in their line-up for the return to league action.

Connacht have made just the three just changes from the side that beat Benetton Treviso 18-3 in their last league outing.

Captain Gavin Duffy, Mick Kearney and Michael Swift all return, with Ethienne Reynecke named on the bench.

Also among the replacements, flying winger Matt Healy could earn his first cap after impressing for the second string.

Form: Newport Gwent Dragons have slipped to seven straight defeats in all competitions - their worst sequence since the region was formed in 2003. Dragons have not overcome an Irish province since beating Ulster 22-9 at Rodney Parade in the RaboDirect PRO12 on 30 September 2011. Connacht beat Treviso 18-3 in round eight and are attempting back to back PRO12 victories for the first time since April. Connacht's only away wins in 2012 in all competitions have come at Zebre (twice) and the Dragons at Rodney Parade in March. Connacht achieved the season's double over the Men from Gwent in 2011/12.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Will Harries, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Dan Evans, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Tom Brown, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (c), 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Dan Way, 2 Hugh Gustafson, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Ian Nimmo, 20 Ieuan Jones, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Lewis Robling, 23 Jack Dixon.

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Danie Poolman, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Gavin Duffy (c), 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Mick Kearney, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Denis Buckley.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Rodney Ah You, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Dave Gannon, 20 Johnny O'Connor, 21 David Moore, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Matt Healy.

Date: Friday, 23 November
Venue: Rodney Parade
Kick-off: 19:00 GMT
Referee: Giuseppe Vivarini (Italy)
Assistant referees: James Jones (Wales), Kelvin Shorte (Wales)
Television match official: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)

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