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 , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Pumas vs Western Province19:00
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39