United Rugby Championship: Dragons and Cardiff name sides for rearranged Welsh derby

Adam Kyriacou

Dragons hooker Elliot Dee and centre Jack Dixon return to the starting team that will take on Cardiff in a United Rugby Championship derby at Rodney Parade.

Wales international Dee and midfielder Dixon are part of three changes made by boss Dean Ryan for the penultimate game of the season in Newport on Friday.

The final change to the Dragons‘ starting line-up is a call-up for combative back-row forward Ben Fry – who this week signed a new contract at the Welsh region.

Welsh derby

Prop Lloyd Fairbrother makes a welcome return among the replacements and is set for his first appearance since May 2021. Fellow front-row Greg Bateman also returns on the bench.

Meanwhile, Liam Belcher will mark his 50th first team appearance as Cardiff name an unchanged side for the away game.

The Blue and Blacks travel to Rodney Parade on the back of a bonus-point win over Zebre Parma in their last Arms Park fixture of the season.

Attention now turns to the final Welsh derby of the season and academy graduate Belcher becomes the latest member of the squad to reach a significant milestone, as he wears the number two jersey against his former side.

Rhys Carré and Dmitri Arhip line up either side of the hooker, with Seb Davies and Matthew Screech continuing their partnership behind. Captain Josh Navidi is joined by James Ratti and James Botham in the back-row.

Lloyd Williams will move within nine appearances of 250 for the club as he forms an experienced half-back duo with Rhys Priestland.

Owen Lane and Max Llewellyn were both on the scoresheet last week and retain their spots in the backline.

The only change in the match-day squad sees the return of club captain Josh Turnbull to the bench, having been sidelined with a calf injury since March.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Rio Dyer, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Jared Rosser, 10 Will Reed, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Ollie Griffiths, 7 Ben Fry, 6 Harri Keddie (c), 5 Ben Carter, 4 Joe Davies, 3 Mesake Doge, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Aki Seiuli
Replacements: 16 Taylor Davies, 17 Greg Bateman, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Huw Taylor, 20 Taine Basham, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Josh Lewis

Cardiff Rugby: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Owen Lane, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Max Llewellyn, 11 Theo Cabango, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 James Ratti, 7 Josh Navidi (c), 6 James Botham, 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Seb Davies, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Liam Belcher, 1 Rhys Carré
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Josh Turnbull, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Ellis Bevan, 22 Ben Thomas, 23 Mason Grady

Venue: Rodney Parade
Kick-off: 19:35 BST (18:35 GMT)
Referee: Craig Evans (WRU)
Assistant Referees: Ben Whitehouse (WRU), Tom Spurrier (WRU)
TMO: Sean Brickell (WRU)

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