Wales aces return for Leinster clash

Wales aces return for Leinster clash

Dragons RFC recall a number of Wales internationals for a first appearance of the season as they face Leinster Rugby in the BKT United Rugby Championship at Rodney Parade on Sunday (kick-off 1.15pm).

Four players who featured for Wales in the Rugby World Cup – Elliot Dee, Dan Lydiate, Aaron Wainwright, and Rio Dyer – are all named in the starting line-up by Head Coach Dai Flanagan.

Flanagan makes a total of nine changes from the side that faced Munster last time out.

Prop Lloyd Fairbrother, fresh from his exploits with Wales last weekend, is back up front alongside Dee and Rhodri Jones. Matthew Screech returns in the second row, where he joined by George Nott.

A new-look back row sees Wales aces Lydiate – set for his first appearance for Dragons since May 2013 after his summer return - Taine Basham and Wainwright combine.

Centre Aneurin Owen is set for his first start of the season, paired with captain Steff Hughes in midfield, while wing Jared Rosser is back alongside Dyer on the flanks. Full back Cai Evans is the final change as he takes his place in the 15 jersey.

Flanagan said: “We’ve got some fresh juice in the group with the internationals back altogether. There is a spring in their step, they have had some recovery time, and they are back looking to perform for us.

“We’ve got to start believing that and we’ve got to start performing,’ he added.

“I would say the first two home games we didn't do much wrong, but we didn't do too much right. We were very neutral and that cost us

“We were in the games for long periods, we were the better team for long periods, but we didn't win because we didn't execute the chances we had."

On the Leinster challenge, Flanagan added: “They are a quality outfit. It doesn’t matter if it is their first, second or third., they have something that everyone in world rugby is trying to achieve.

“Irish rugby is becoming the envy of everyone in rugby, the number of athletes and top-quality players they produce. Leinster players, specifically, when they wear that shirt, it doesn’t matter if your first or fourth choice, there is an expectation of a certain performance.

“They have a very well-rounded game, can play in the rain, play in the dry, they can drive, they can kick, they can play expansive.

“We are preparing to make sure we're on the money for whatever comes.”

Dragons RFC: Cai Evans, Rio Dyer, Steff Hughes (c), Aneurin Owen, Jared Rosser, Will Reed, Rhodri Williams; Rhodri Jones, Elliot Dee, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, George Nott, Dan Lydiate, Taine Basham, Aaron Wainwright

Replacements: James Benjamin, Aki Seiuli, Luke Yendle, Sean Lonsdale, Ryan Woodman, Dane Blacker, Jack Dixon, Ewan Rosser

Unavailable (15): Harri Ackerman (shoulder), Leon Brown (calf), Ben Carter (knock), Chris Coleman (hamstring), Ollie Griffiths (knock), Ashton Hewitt (knock), Lewis Jones (cheekbone), Harrison Keddie (knock), Rodrigo Martinez (calf), Angus O’Brien (arm), David Richards (back), Bradley Roberts (thumb), Sio Tomkinson (ankle), Joe Westwood (leg), Jordan Williams (back)

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