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
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Preview
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs Lions17:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs Tasman19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
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
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615