Planet Rugby

Preview: Dragons v Leinster

28th February 2013 12:31

Share:

Shane Jennings Pro12 white kit

Leading Leinster: Shane Jennings

Regular Dragons back row Jevon Groves will play his second game at lock in Friday's Pro12 clash with Leinster at Rodney Parade.

Groves made a positive impact against Zebre last week as he played in the second row after Adam Jones was taken ill.

Head coach Darren Edwards has also put faith in young Jack Dixon, who will create a new centre pairing alongside Pat Leach. They last played side by side away from home against Bath at the Rec. The Men of Gwent have also made a change in the front five with Sam Parry stepping in as hooker. Jonathan Evans starts at scrum-half.

Meanwhile, with a number of players available for selection this week, the Leinster management have made several changes to their starting line up ahead of the trip to Newport.

Twenty-two-year-old Academy prop Jack O'Connell will make his seventh Leinster appearance - and his first start - in a front row which includes Balbriggan's Jamie Hagan and Sean Cronin, who is one of five Ireland internationals to return this week.

O'Connell has featured in the province's last three wins against Cardiff Blues, Treviso and the Scarlets as a replacement.

Fergus McFadden partners the fit again Brendan Macken at centre, with full-back Luke Fitzgerald included in a pacey looking back three alongside Fionn Carr and David Kearney. Meanwhile, Ian Madigan - who makes his 23rd appearance of the season - links up with Eoin Reddan at in the half-back pairing.

Shane Jennings leads the team and starts in a re-jigged back row which includes Dominic Ryan and sees Rhys Ruddock switch to number eight. Mark Flanagan, fresh from his seasonal debut last weekend, locks down alongside his cousin Devin Toner.

After featuring prominently in the recent victories, Jack McGrath takes his place amongst a replacements bench which includes the likes of Leo Cullen and Eoin O'Malley.

Form: Dragons' only loss in their last five fixtures in all competitions was 3-60 at home to Glasgow Warriors in their most recent contest at Rodney Parade. Dragons have won just three of their last eleven home games in the RaboDirect PRO12. The men from Gwent's only victory over an Irish province since September 2011 was 14-3 at home to Connacht on 23 November 2012. Leinster have won their last seven matches in all competitions since their 19-27 defeat in Ulster in the PRO12 on 21 December. The Leinstermen have won six of their last seven encounters against Welsh regions in all competitions. Leinster have won their last five fixtures against Newport Gwent Dragons since Dragons were last victorious on 6 December 2009 at Rodney Parade.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Phil Price, 7 Sam Parry, 6 Nathan Buck, 5 Ian Nimmo, 4 Jevon Groves, 3 Lewis Evans (c), 2 Nic Cudd, 1 Ieuan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Aaron Coundley, 18 Dan Way, 19 Rob Sidoli, 20 Adam Jones, 21 Wayne Evans, 22 Tom Prydie, 23 Will Harries.

Leinster: 15 Luke Fitzgerald, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Fergus McFadden, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Rhys Ruddock, 7 Shane Jennings (c), 6 Dominic Ryan, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Mark Flanagan, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Jack O'Connell.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Leo Cullen, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 John Cooney, 22 Andrew Goodman, 23 Eoin O'Malley.

Date: Friday, March 1
Venue: Rodney Parade
Kick-off: 19.00 GMT
Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff BluesLeinster vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411