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Preview: Glasgow Warriors v Newport Gwent Dragons

Head coach Gregor Townsend is hoping to see Glasgow Warriors re-assert their dominance over Newport Gwent Dragons on Sunday.

The Scottish outfit reached last season’s GUINNESS PRO12 final in May but not before they were beaten home and away by the Dragons.

Glasgow had completed the double over them the previous season and they have already beaten the Welshmen in this campaign – 33-12 in round three – meaning victory this weekend will see them once again return the favour.

Despite indifferent recent form – both the Warriors’ GUINNESS PRO12 defeats this season have come in the last three rounds – Townsend’s charges have won their last 12 matches at Scotstoun in all competitions.

And as they seek to make it 13 Glasgow welcome a host of Scotland internationals back into the fold, with Sean Lamont, Duncan Weir, Ryan Grant, Fraser Brown, Tim Swinson, Gordon Reid and Henry Pyrgos included in the squad.

Lee Jones starts on the right wing, after penning a new two-year contract at Scotstoun this week, with DTH van der Merwe on the other touchline

Weir and Niko Matawalu form the half-back partnership, while Jon Welsh makes his first start of the season at tight-head and Al Kellock leads the side from the second row.

“The Dragons beat us home and away in the league last season and we will face a tough contest this weekend,” said Townsend.

“It's great to be back home as we enter a really crucial part of the season. Sunday's game will be the start of a run of five GUINNESS PRO12 games to be played either at Scotstoun or across in Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield.

“The players get a huge boost playing in front of our own supporters and we're looking forward to the game this weekend.”

Wales wing Tom Prydie returns to the starting XV as one of just two changes to the Dragons side that lost to Munster last Friday.

The only other change sees Dorian Jones come in at fly-half to partner Richie Rees in the half-backs, with the pack exactly the same.

The visitors are struggling for form in the GUINNESS PRO12, their only victory so far this season coming at home to Benetton Treviso in round four.

The Men from Gwent are also winless in their last 11 away games in the competition, since beating Glasgow at Scotstoun in this equivalent fixture last season, but director of rugby Lyn Jones insists victory in Scotland is not beyond their grasp.

“Can we win up in Glasgow? Yes we can,” Jones told the South Wales Argus. “I appreciate that our chances of winning are around 10 per cent but we went to Stade Francais and won following an upset at Edinburgh.

“There are people in the room who can do it, we just need to play to our best ability and keep working harder and harder.

“Go to Glasgow and you need 23 guys right on top of their game because it's going to be fast and physical.”

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At Scotstoun Stadium , 4pm. Live on BBC Alba & S4C

Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU, 42nd competition game)
Assistant Referees: Lloyd Linton, Andrew McMenemy (both SRU)
Citing Commissioner: John Kirk (SRU)
TMO: Jim Yuille (SRU)

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