Planet Rugby

Preview: Dragons v Munster

05th March 2010 12:58

Share:

Ronan O Gara penalty

Captain ROG: O'Gara leads from 10

Ronan O'Gara will captain Munster for Saturday's Magners League meeting with the Dragons at Rodney Parade.

Ireland international O'Gara is the one personnel change in the back-line from the one that started against Edinburgh two weeks ago, with Ian Dowling, who played against the Scots, ruled out with an ankle injury.

In the pack, the front-row is unchanged while Billy Holland partners Mick O'Driscoll at lock and Tommy O'Donnell takes over form the injured Niall Ronan on the flank.

O'Donnell is set to win his 10th Munster senior cap while across from him in that back-row will be another Clanwilliam man Alan Quinlan who in winning his 189th cap is closing in on the record held by Anthony Foley (201).

"I'd have to say it's not something I've been giving any thought to really, more concentrating on the job in hand, " Quinlan said.

"This is a big game for us. This is a very tight League, very competitive and our ambition is to be involved in the play offs.

"Our away form hasn't been good and that's something we're very aware of and looking to correct. But saying that Rodney Parade is never an easy place to go to get a result.

"Dragons have improved immensely from when we played them, they've beaten Leinster here and last time out they drew in Ravenhill. That makes them a very good side.

"I've no doubt they'll be up for this one big-time so we can expect nothing less than a game of huge intensity that will go right down to the wire."

Meanwhile, kooker Tom Willis will lead the side whilst Steve Jones has recovered from an abdominal injury to take up a place on the bench.

Form: Dragons have not beaten Munster since a 9-12 scoreline at Rodney Parade in the Magners League on 5 January 2007. The Dragons are unbeaten in their last three games in all competitions, however in the Magners League are winless in their last three. Munster's only defeat in their last seven matches in all competitions was 10-15 at Ulster in the Magners League on 2 January. The last eight games that Munster have played in the Magners League have all been won by the home side on the day.

The teams:

The Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Will Harries, 13 Matthew Watkins, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Lewis Evans 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Danny Lydiate, 5 Luke Charteris , 4 Adam Jones, 3 Ben Castle, 2 Tom Willis (c), 1 Hugh Gustafson.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Pat Palmer, 18 Rob Sidoli, 19 Hoani Macdonald, 20 Tom Riley, 21 James Arlidge, 22 James Leadbeater

Munster: 15 Paul Warwick, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Lifiemi Mafi, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Denis Hurley, 10 Ronan O'Gara (capt), 9 Peter Stringer, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Alan Quinlan, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Mick O'Driscoll, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Denis Fogarty, 1 Marcus Horan.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Ian Nagle, 19 Nick Williams, 20 Duncan Williams, 21 Scott Deasy, 22 Ciaran O'Boyle.

Date: Saturday, March 6
Kick-off: 18:30
Venue: Rodney Parade
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Phil Fear (WRU), Matthew Thomas (WRU)
TMO: Tony Rowlands (WRU)

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
ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
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
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411