Challenge Cup | Bristol Bears v Dragons line ups and preview

Challenge Cup | Bristol Bears v Dragons line ups and preview

The stage is set as the Bears host the Dragons in first quarter-final of the Challenge Cup this weekend. 

The third meeting between the two sides will decide who reaches the semi-finals of the competition where they will face either Bordeaux or Edinburgh. 

The two sides last met all the way back to the 2006/07 season where the two sides each won their home fixture with both matches decided by margins of fewer than seven points.

Bristol have played in four previous Challenge Cup quarter-finals, winning their first match at this stage back in 2000, but losing the following three while the Dragons have a 100% success rate in Challenge Cup quarter-finals, winning each of their three matches including an away victory against Premiership opposition the last time they reached the last eight (v Gloucester in 2016).

Team News 

Bristol Bears

Pat Lam has made 14 changes to the side that lost to Wasps in the Premiership for Dragons quarter-final.

The Bears include nine internationals in the starting line-up as Steven Luatua returns to skipper the side from the back row. Harry Randall returns from a laceration injury to be included among the 23-man squad on the replacements bench.

With Siale Piutau missing the clash due to a suspension, Semi Radradra is joined in the midfield by Piers O'Conor.


Jamie Roberts and Jonah Holmes will make their debuts as with vastly experienced centre Roberts linking up with Nick Tompkins in midfield while Wales international Holmes adds his firepower out wide.

Dean Ryan, Director of Dragons Rugby, also hands a sensational return to action to full back Jordan Williams, one of a total of seven changes from the side that last featured in the Guinness PRO14.

The eye-catching No.15 will return to his former club for the European showdown as he makes his first appearance since November last year.

Wales international Leon Brown and Brok Harris are named up front to scrum down alongside hooker Elliot Dee.

Destructive Number Eight Ross Moriarty is back in the pack while a back row reshuffle will see Aaron Wainwright operate at blindside flanker and Harrison Keddie move to openside.

The final change to the starting line-up is a recall for lock Joe Davies who will partner Matthew Screech in the second row.

There is also a welcome return for fly half Josh Lewis who could make his first appearance for Dragons since April 2019 after being named among the replacements.

Line Ups

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👊 Luatua v Wainwright 🔥 Radradra v Tompkins 🐉 Jamie Roberts debuts This promises to be a cracker 🧨 #BRIvDRA #ChallengeCup

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Tournament Record:

  • Bristol: P70 – W39, D2, L29. Win Rate: 56%
  • Dragons: P66 - W37, D0, L29. Win Rate: 56%


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