Paul Turner has selected a strong travelling squad for his side’s Magners League opener.
The Men of Gwent take on Connacht at The Sportsground, Galway, on Saturday kicking off at 17.30. The Dragons have got off to a winning start in four of the last five Magners League seasons but have not tasted victory in Galway since May 2004.
Turner, said: “We have got a few players returning, some having had limited match time over the last fortnight and some who have not. It is a bit of a risk but I am certain that we will get better week-by-week.
“It has been a tough summer for us with so many injuries but the attitude within the squad has been first class.
“We’re looking forward to a tough challenge at The Sportsground. It’s not been a happy hunting ground for us in the past but the attitude all week has been very good and we’re looking forward to a sunny day in Galway!
“I was pleased with the fact that we didn’t pick up any more injuries in the Martyn Williams Testimonial. It also gave the boys a chance to come to terms with the new law interpretations, which are new to all sides this season.
“A plus point was our scramble defence effort but we were far too undisciplined to get in front of the Blues. They showed again that they have a top class squad available and it will be an interesting battle with them in three weeks time.
“But we want to start the season off with a victory in Galway on Saturday evening. This season is going to be a marathon with the added fixtures but I can assure you that the Dragons are going to get better and better as the season progresses.
Like any other side we need our fair share of luck to keep our squad fit but we are looking to move on from some of the rugby we played last year.”
Newport Gwent Dragons squad to take on Connacht at The Sportsground, Galway, on Sunday, September 5th, kick-off 17.30:
Matt Evans, Will Harries, Aled Brew, Rhodri Gomer Davies, Tom Riley, David Bishop, Jason Tovey, Matthew Jones, Nicky Griffiths, Danny Lee.
Hugh Gustafson, Ali McKenzie, Pat Palmer, Ben Castle, Steve Jones, Tom Willis, Lloyd Burns, Luke Charteris, Rob Sidoli, Scott Morgan, Danny Lydiate, Gavin Thomas, Joe Bearman, Robin Sowden-Taylor, Hugo Ellis.