Planet Rugby

Preview: Dragons v Ulster

05th September 2013 11:57

Share:

Johann Muller

Captain: Johann Muller

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe has announced a line-up missing several internationals for their RaboDirect PRO12 opener against the Dragons.

The selection of Paddy Jackson at fly-half is the only change to the backline that began last weekend's pre-season friendly against Leicester.

Jared Payne starts at full-back, with Andrew Trimble and David McIlwaine on the wings. Chris Farrell and Luke Marshall are named at centre.

Callum Black and Ricky Lutton start in the front-row, either side of Rob Herring who is picked at hooker. Captain Johann Muller and Dan Tuohy are paired in the second-row with Robbie Diack, Chris Henry and Roger Wilson in the back-row.

Nick Williams was not available for selection as he's returned to New Zealand for family reasons.

Meanwhile, Welsh international and Dragons skipper Andrew Coombs will lead the regional side for what is his first official duty as captain.

New faces in the starting line-up are Richie Rees, T. Rhys Thomas and Matthew Screech while Francisco Chaparro, Netani Talei and Kris Burton are on the replacements bench.

Hallam Amos also moves from full-back into wing as Tom Prydie takes on the other wing. The centre pairing remains similar to last season as Jack Dixon and Pat Leach start.

"To be the best you've got to play against the best, we can't measure ourselves against the lower end of the league, we want to compete and be at the top. To do that we need to perform and learn from playing the best," said rugby director Lyn Jones ahead of the game.

Form: Dragons beat Zebre in round one of the RaboDirect PRO12 last season - the only time they have begun a new campaign with maximum points. Dragons won just one of their last six matches in 2012/13: 30-24 at home to Munster on 19 April. Ulster, who were the losing finalists in the PRO12 final in May, have begun the new season with a victory in each of the past three campaigns. The Ulstermen's only defeat to a Welsh region in their last ten such meetings was 12-16 at home to Ospreys on 8 February 2013. The Men from Gwent have beaten Ulster just once since the opening round of the 2009/10 season: 22-9 at Rodney Parade on 30 September 2011.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Lewis Evans, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Jevon Groves, 5 Andrew Coombs (capt), 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Dan Way, 2 T.Rhys Thomas, 1 Aaron Coundley.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Phil Price, 18 Francisco Chaparro, 19 Adam Jones, 20 Netani Talei, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Kris Burton, 23 Ross Wardle.

Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Luke Marshall, 12 Chris Farrell, 11 David McIlwaine, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (capt), 3 Ricky Lutton, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Tom Court, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Sean Doyle, 21 Ian Porter, 22 James McKinney, 23 Darren Cave.

Date: Friday, September 6
Kick-off: 19:15 BST
Venue: Rodney Parade
Referee: Claudio Blessano (Italy)
Assistant referees: Leighton Hodges (Wales), Neil Hennessy (Wales)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs Bayonne18:30
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs SharksPumas vs Sharks Preview
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00