Dragons and Sharks go Head-to-Head

Newport Gwent Dragons travel to Edgeley Park on Sunday to take on Guinness Premiership leaders Sale Sharks in Round 5 of the Heineken Cup kick off 1pm.

Kath McCarthy | 12/01/2006

The Dragons have named a 25-man squad for the trip with final team selection being announced after tomorrow’s (Friday) captains run. Youngsters Aled Thomas, Gareth Chapman and Richard Fussell who performed admirably in the Dragons back-to-back Heineken Cup matches against Munster in December are included in the squad. Jamie Ringer has fully recovered from his ankle injury and is included but lock Luke Charteris is still ruled out with a shoulder injury.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s clash wing Ben Breeze commented,

“Sale are a very professional outfit and as well as impressing in the Guinness Premiership this season certainly impressed everyone when they played at Rodney Parade. They are an extremely physical side and have world class players throughout their side. They are close to being a complete side and Sunday’s match will be a good test to see where we are against a team as good as Sale. There is no doubt they will be keyed up for the game as they look to secure a home draw in the quarter finals of the competition. They are further down the road in their vision to secure the Heineken Cup than we are and as much as we respect them we are going there to gauge where we stand against a team as strong as them.”

The last meeting between the two sides saw Sale run out 38-11 winners at Rodney Parade but Coach Paul Turner travels to Sale with confidence after The Dragons last two matches away in the European competition where they staged a dramatic comeback in France and put in a magnificent performance at Thomond Park where they led at one stage.

“Away from home our form in the Heineken Cup has been pleasing where we have run Castres and Munster close,” said Paul Turner. “At the start of the competition I stated that we would be very competitive in Europe and will make our mark. Although sitting at the bottom of the group, I feel that we have done that and away at Munster and Castres we fronted up in adversity and showed it is always possible to win in those places. Sale at Edgeley Park is going to be extremely tough especially as they sit at the top of the Guinness Premiership and have a huge squad with key players in most positions, but I am sure as we have proved this season we are capable of on our day mixing with the best. Our two recent wins in the Celtic League competition has installed back into the squad the pre season self belief we had and we travel with optimism, we are not going there to make up the numbers but to build on our away performances already this season.”

Dragons Squad
Sione Tuipulotu, Aled Thomas, Gareth Chapman, Hal Luscombe, Jon Bryant, Ben Breeze, Richard Fussell, Ceri Sweeney, Craig Warlow, Gareth Baber, Gareth Cooper, David Maddocks, Adam Black, Steve Jones, Andrew Brown, Gethin Robinson, Rhys Thomas, Ian Gough, Bryn Griffiths, Peter Sidoli, Andrew Hall, Jamie Ringer, Rhys Oakley, Michael Owen, Jason Forster.

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