Paul Turner has named his Newport Gwent Dragons side to face Ulster at Ravenhill this Friday night in the Magners League.
There are only two changes in the starting line up to the team which beat European giants Munster at Rodney Parade last week, and one of these is positional, as Lewis Evans and Gavin Thomas trade the 6 and 7 shirts with last Friday’s man-of-the-match Thomas restored to openside flanker, whilst the impressive Toby Faletau remains at number eight.
The other change is in the second row, where Adam Jones comes in for Rob Sidoli, with Scott Morgan on the bench. Luke Charteris and the front row combination of Phil Price, captain Tom Willis and Nigel Hall all retain their places.
The Dragons back-line is unchanged, with Pat Leach staying at full-back, Adam Hughes and new father Aled Brew on the wings, and the effective combination of Ashley Smith and Tom Riley in the centre. Half-backs Wayne Evans and Jason Tovey also start in a proven half-back pairing.
Steve Jones takes Lloyd Burns’ spot on the replacements’ bench, whilst Will Harries, who was on standby for Wales last week, returns to the squad as one of the substitutes. Ben Castle and Hugh Gustafson cover the prop positions, whilst young scrum half Jonathan Evans is again amongst the replacements. Back row Hugo Ellis and outside half Matthew Jones round off the bench.
Ulster currently sit fourth in the Magners League. The Dragons’ last trip over the Irish Sea ended in defeat to Leinster, but the Men of Gwent have performed well at Ravenhill in recent seasons, battling to a 16-14 victory in 2008-09, with the sides drawing 22-22 in February 2010.
NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS: Pat Leach, Adam Hughes, Tom Riley, Ashley Smith, Aled Brew; Jason Tovey, Wayne Evans; Phil Price, Tom Willis (c), Nigel Hall, Luke Charteris, Adam Jones, Lewis Evans, Gavin Thomas, Toby Faletau.
Replacements: Steve Jones, Ben Castle, Hugh Gustafson, Scott Morgan, Hugo Ellis, Will Harries, Jonathan Evans, Matthew Jones.