Dragons Head Coach Bernard Jackman has named his Dragons side for their clash against Ulster Rugby on Friday night (22nd September) in the Guinness PRO14, KO 19:35.
Following their win against Connacht at Rodney Parade the Dragons hope to take their winning ways on the road to the Kingspan Stadium, as they face an in form Ulster side with three wins from three. However, with a win under the Dragons belts last weekend, Jackman has urged the side to continue this form.
“We need to be consistent as a region and as individuals and it’s my job as head coach to drive that consistency.”
He continued: “We have changed the team up, if you look at the squad for the first three games it’s been pretty much the same group, bar a few injuries. At this stage in the season as a new coach and having new coaching staff we need to be able to give everybody a fair opportunity. We did give 62 players an opportunity in pre-season and now they are going to get a chance to play in a Guinness PRO14 game and at a very tough place, and to go against a very good side we will find a lot out about them.
“We’ll have more experience in our squad on Friday night than we had against Connacht in terms of pro games played, but obviously they have to get up to speed quickly.”
The wholesale changes from Jackman will see alterations in both the backs and the forwards. The back three sees the return of Carl Meyer at fullback with Adam Hughes and youngster George Gasson on the wings. The centre partnership sees the inclusion of newly signed centre Thretton Palamo who makes his debut for the Dragons; he joins up with the experienced Pat Howard.
The front row have all been promoted from the bench to the starting XV as props Thomas Davies and Lloyd Fairbrother are named alongside hooker Gerard Ellis. The second row sees Matthew Screech get the rod as Rynard Landman retains his position, whilst the back row has two changes made to it as Max Williams and Robson Blake get their first starts for the Region alongside Welsh International flanker Ollie Griffiths who captains the side.
Cardiff Blues scrum-half Dane Blacker comes onto the bench for the Dragons after signing a short term loan with the Region. The youngster has caps for Wales U18s as well as starring for the Cardiff Blues during the Singha Sevens tournament in 2016. He is joined on the replacements bench by Joe Davies and Dragons Academy prospect Lennon Greggains who are all set to make their Guinness PRO14 debuts.
Dragons team to face Ulster
15 Carl Meyer, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Thretton Palamo, 12 Pat Howard, 11 George Gasson, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Owain Leonard; 1 Thomas Davies, 2 Gerard Ellis, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 4 Matthew Screech, 5 Rynard Landman, 6 Max Williams, 7 Ollie Griffiths ©, 8 Robson Blake.
Replacements; Rhys Buckley, Phil Price, Brok Harris, Joe Davies, Lennon Greggains, Dane Blacker, Angus O’Brien, Will Talbot-Davies.
Tickets are available for the Dragons match against Southern Kings on Saturday 30th September. To buy online please click here, alternatively call the ticket office on 01633 674990.
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