Fourth place Edinburgh travel to Dragons looking to climb into the top three spots in Conference B to set up a run at the playoffs in the Guinness PRO14.
The Scottish side will be looking for their first away victory in the league this season, while Dragons will want to do all they can to climb the table by getting a victory.
Bernard Jackman, coach of the Welsh side, will welcome a return to Rodney Parade where his side have registered their only two wins so far this season – against Zebre and Isuzu Southern Kings.
What’s at stake?
Edinburgh have the opportunity to leapfrog Scarlets or Ulster into the top three with a good performance and win while those two teams face off earlier in the weekend.
They’re also looking to win their first game away from home this season, having been unsuccessful in four attempts away from BT Murrayfield.
The Dragons need to win to end a four-game losing streak to have any chance of climbing off the bottom of Conference B.
Team news (Dragons): Bernard Jackman has made five changes to the side that lost to Connacht, headlined by the return of Wales centre Tyler Morgan.
Wing Jared Rosser returns from injury, Hallam Amos will move to the other flank and Ollie Griffiths also makes his return from injury to take back the No. 8 role. Rynard Landman in the second row and Ryan Bevington at loosehead are the final changes.
Team news (Edinburgh): Darcy Graham and Ben Toolis are back in the staring XV for Edinburgh after returning from the Scotland national team, though Toolis will be playing blindside flanker rather than his usual lock.
Edinburgh also give Italian international Pietro Ceccarelli his first start after two bench appearances against Zebre and Scarlets.
— Dragons 🏉 (@dragonsrugby) 22 November 2018
Dragons head coach Jackman said: “This is a massive game for us and it’s great to welcome back the likes of Ollie Griffiths, Jared Rosser, Brandon Nansen and Arwel Robson and also a number of our Wales internationals.
“We know the challenge ahead of us. The two Scottish teams now have real depth to their squads, as Scarlets and Ospreys both found out in the last round.”
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill said: “We had a few days off after the win over Scarlets, but Dragons is a really big game for us.
“There’s a lot of noise that it’s a really important game for them, but it’s a really important game for us too. With Scarlets playing Ulster, they’ll knock each other off, so If we can get a positive result at Dragons then it puts us right in the mix for the playoffs.”
Key battle: Jordan Williams vs Dougie Fife
Jordan Williams is the league leader in metres gained and defenders beaten, he does a lot offensively for Dragons carrying the ball forward and making yards.
Dougie Fife will have to be at his defensive best to prevent Williams from adding too much to his stats and will look to make incisive breaks of his own.
Key stat: Edinburgh fly-half Simon Hickey has kicked more penalties than any other player in the Guinness PRO14, with 14 successful attempts.
Did you know? Edinburgh have won three straight games against Dragons dating back to April 2017 and lead the all-time series 16-13, with one draw.
Dragons: Jordan Williams, Jared Rosser, Tyler Morgan, Jarryd Sage, Hallam Amos, Jason Tovey, Rhodri Williams; Ryan Bevington, Richard Hibbard (c), Lloyd Fairbrother, Rynard Landman, Lewis Evans, Harrison Keddie, Nic Cudd, Ollie Griffiths
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence, Aaron Jarvis, Leon Brown, Brandon Nansen, James Benjamin, Rhodri Davies, Arwel Robson, Adam Warren
— Edinburgh Rugby (@EdinburghRugby) 23 November 2018
Edinburgh: Dougie Fife, Darcy Graham, James Johnstone, Chris Dean, Duhan van der Merwe, Simon Hickey, Henry Pyrgos (c), Pierre Schoeman, Ross Ford, Pierto Ceccarelli, James Hodgson, Callum Hunter-Hill, Ben Toolis, Ally Miller, Luke Hamilton
Replacements: David Cherry, Rory Sutherland, Murray McCallum, Callum Atkinson, Lewis Wynne, Sean Kennedy, Jaco van der Walt, Juan Pablo Socino
TV: Kickoff at 5:30pm, live on Premier Sports and S4C
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant Referees: Adam Jones, Wayne Davies
TMO: Sean Brickell
The Dragons won their first Guinness PRO14 match since September as they held off Edinburgh Rugby in a gritty battle at Rodney Parade.
Two tries from Rosser set them on their way to an invaluable result that takes them above the Isuzu Southern Kings in Conference B.
An Edinburgh score from Darcy Graham with time running out put late pressure on the Dragons, but they showed impressive character to deny one final push from the Scottish side.
A cagey opening to proceedings saw both sides struggling to get points on the board, with just a Jason Tovey penalty to show for the opening 20 minutes of rugby.
And it was the hosts who ignited the game through a moment of magic from Rosser.
— Dragons 🏉 (@dragonsrugby) 25 November 2018
Jordan Williams broke the Edinburgh line well, feeding the ball wide to the expectant Rosser, who showed jet-heeled pace to squeeze round Henry Pyrgos and loop under the posts.
Edinburgh thought that they were back in the game when Chris Dean scrambled over after solid scrummaging, but for referee Stuart Berry to adjudge – with the help of TMO – that he had used his knees to propel himself over after being grounded.
But they were not to be deterred, grabbing that much-needed foothold on the stroke of half-time as Dean scythed through a resolute Dragons defence before feeding Dougie Fife out wide to dot down.
They couldn’t capitalise after the break, however, as the Dragons kept hold of the ball for what seemed like an age.
The Edinburgh defence stood firm as the hosts gained ground, but the Dragons showed patience; relentless ball-carrying in the middle of the park created gaps out wide and when Williams again fed Rosser, he had fresh grass to run into and score once more.
— Edinburgh Rugby (@EdinburghRugby) 25 November 2018
They stretched their lead to 13 points with just a quarter-of-an-hour to go with a Tovey penalty, and it looked as though they might have done enough to earn a first win in four Guinness PRO14 matches.
But when Graham scurried through, it seemed initially as though excellent recovery work from Hallam Amos had done enough to flip the Edinburgh winger over and avoid a grounding.
A lengthy TMO decision concluded otherwise, however, with a Jaco van der Walt conversion bringing the visitors within a single score and making the Rodney Parade faithful sweat.
And despite a missed Tovey kick to seal things with less than five minutes on the clock, the Dragons held firm in dramatic circumstances for a well-earned win.