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Preview: Leinster v Dragons

07th September 2012 11:37

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Quinn Roux WP 2011

Quinn Roux: Makes his home debut for Leinster

Former Western Province lock Quinn Roux will make his home debut for Leinster in Saturday's PRO12 clash with the Dragons in Dublin.

Roux partners skipper Leo Cullen in the second-row while another home debut is handed to Leinster Academy flanker Ben Marshall who made his first appearance for the province away to Ulster in December 2010.

Marshall comes into the back-row alongside Shane Jennings and number eight Leo Auva'a.

Ireland hooker Sean Cronin is included in the front-row alongside Jamie Hagan and Jack McGrath.

In the absence of the injured Isaac Boss, John Cooney will link up with Ian Madigan at half back with the rest of the largely fledgling back-line that started last weekend's game in Llanelli - aside from the experienced Isa Nacewa who will make his 104th appearance - set to continue.

Devin Toner is named on the replacements bench alongside prop Heinke van der Merwe.

Meanwhile, Dragons back row Jevon Groves is set to lead the men of Gwent for the first time.

Although this is his first outing as Dragons captain, he is no stranger to the position having captained the Wales Sevens team to the plate semi-finals during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Fellow back row and regional captain Lewis Evans makes his return from injury from the bench whilst prop Tim Ryan will be looking to start his competitive career at the Dragons as a replacement.

With an unchanged back-line from the 37-6 victory over the Zebre last week, head coach Darren Edwards has rung the changes in the forwards with Groves, Ian Nimmo and Toby Faletau the only survivors from last weekend's starting line-up.

Form: Leinster have now slipped to back to back defeats in the RaboDirect PRO12 - they have not lost three in a row in the competition since October 2008. The only visiting team to have beaten the Leinstermen at the RDS in any competition in the last three years , other than Ospreys, was Glasgow in September 2011. Newport Gwent Dragons top the RaboDirect PRO12 table after round one, courtesy of their bonus point win over newcomers, Zebre. The Welshmen have three times before led the league after one week (2005, 2007 and 2008) and on all three occasions have lost in round two and surrendered top spot. The Men from Gwent have won just one of their last dozen encounters with Irish provinces: 22-9 at home to Ulster on 30 September 2011. Dragons solo victory in Ireland since2004 came at Ulster in September 2008. Leinster have taken the last four clashes with Newport Gwent Dragons, whilst Dragons have never overturned the Leinstermen on their own soil!

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 John Cooney, 8 Leo Auva'a, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Ben Marshall, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Colm O'Shea, 23 Darren Hudson.

Dragons: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Will Harries, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tom Prydie, 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Jevon Groves (c), 6 Hywel Stoddart, 5 Adam Jones, 4 Ian Nimmo, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Nathan Williams.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Aaron Coundley, 18 Tim Ryan, 19 Lewis Evans, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Ashley Smith, 23 Hallam Amos.

Date: Saturday, September 8
Venue: RDS, Dublin
Kick-off: 18.15 BST (17.15 GMT)
Referee: Marius Mitrea

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PosTeamPPts
1Leinster1969
2Ulster1965
3Munster1963
4Glasgow Warriors1860
5Ospreys1956