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
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615