Newport Gwent Dragons will begin their preparations for the 2005/06 season when they take on Guinness Premiership side Bath at Rodney Parade on Saturday August 27th kick off 2.30pm. Paul Turner’s Dragons will come up against some of English rugby’s most talented players including Matt Perry, Matt Stevens, Olly Barkley and South African Robbie Fleck.
“It is a great opportunity for us to gauge ourselves against a side that performed consistently well in the Premiership last season and reached the final of the Powergen Cup,” commented new Dragons coach Paul Turner. “They were very successful and performed both at home and away and will provide stern opposition for us. They finished fourth in the Premiership and were runners up in the Powergen Cup. It is going to be a tremendous fixture as all Anglo-Welsh matches are with the tremendous rivalry between the two sides and no more so than with our neighbours from just over the Severn Bridge. The fixture is just what we need to whet supporters appetites for the start of the season and we eagerly await entertaining Bath at Rodney Parade.”
John Connolly’s Bath side are expecting The Dragons to give them a stern test when they visit in late August with the Bath coach commenting, “The Dragons are a strong side who were consistent in finishing fourth in the Celtic League and will provide us with a stiff test.”
The Dragons will also face two further matches to begin their preparations for the season ahead. They take on a Gwent Premier Select XV at Cross Keys RFC on August 10th kick off 7.15pm. The team is made up of players from the Regions Premiership clubs and proved a very successful venture last season with a crowd of over 3,000 turning out to watch the match as the Premiership side produced a shock win.
On August 20th The Dragons visit English Division One side Penzance and Newlyn at Penzance.
Newport Gwent Dragons Pre-season Schedule:
Wednesday August 10: V Gwent Premier Select XV, Cross Keys 7.15pm
Saturday August 20th: V Penzance and Newlyn, Penzance, 3pm
Saturday August 27th V Bath, Rodney Parade, 2.30pm