Newport Gwent Dragons will wait on the fitness of a number of backs before finalising the back line that will face Munster on Friday night (kick off 7.05pm).
Gareth Wyatt is suffering with a groin injury, Nathan Brew has an ankle injury, Hal Luscombe has a hamstring strain, Craig Warlow is suffering with a thigh strain and Gareth Cooper is still suffering with an ankle injury picked up in the Tsunami Rugby Aid match. Steve Winn has been ruled out with a fractured foot picked up in last Friday’s match against The Ospreys.
The Dragons have named their forwards with a complete change in the front row, Adam Black, Steve Jones and Rhys Thomas coming in for Rod Snow, James Richards and Chris Anthony who all move to the replacements bench. Luke Charteris comes in for Peter Sidoli and fresh from clinching the Grand Slam with Wales Michael Owen comes in at No.8. “Munster is a massive game for us on the weekend,” commented coach Leigh Jones.
“We are within touching distance of finishing in the top four in the League and securing a home Celtic Cup draw. Friday’s result is therefore all-important to ensuring we achieve this objective. We have welcomed the Welsh boys back into training this week and it is great to have them back. However, while they were away the squad performed admirably and got two important wins over the Borders and Ulster, which is a step forward from where we were in the autumn. To see the development of our squad is a very pleasing aspect and we have to carry forward the momentum we have generated.”
“It is Wales V Ireland take two on Friday night when we take on Munster,” commented Michael Owen. “It is great to be back training with The Dragons again and am looking forward to helping the team achieve as a minimum a top four place in the Celtic League. Munster will be a difficult game for us as they are a side who can perform just as well home or away. They have a number of quality players in their side and will no doubt be smarting from the weekend but we are back at Rodney Parade playing in front of the home fans and recognise that we have to win if we are to achieve a home draw in the Celtic Cup which is the piece of silverware we are aiming to win as a team.”
Backs From – Percy Montgomery, Gareth Wyatt, Kevin Morgan, Nathan Brew, Daniel Griffiths, Gareth Chapman, Hal Luscombe, Sione Tuipulotu, Jon Bryant, Ceri Sweeney, Craig Warlow, Gareth Baber, James Ireland, Gareth Cooper.
1. Adam Black, 2. Steve Jones, 3. Rhys Thomas, 4. Ian Gough, 5. Luke Charteris, 6. Jamie Ringer, 7. Jason Forster (c), 8. Michael Owen
Replacements From 16. James Richards, 17. Rod Snow, 18. Chris Anthony, 19. Peter Sidoli, 20. Rhys Oakley – backs to be selected from above backs squad