DRAGONS TEAM FOR SANDY PARK SHOWDOWN
Newport Gwent Dragons have made 8 changes to the starting line-up to face Exeter Chiefs in the first of a double header of Amlin Challenge Cup games between the sides on Sunday (5:45pm).
Welsh back row stars Danny Lydiate and Toby Faletau return to the starting XV in place of Lewis Evans and Tom Brown. Welsh hooker Lloyd Burns is also promoted from the bench in place of Steve Jones who drops out of the squad completely.
Ashley Smith has had to pull out of the team after picking up a hamstring injury in training and has been replaced by Andy Tuilagi who will make his first start for the Dragons. In Luke Charteris and Ashley Smith’s absence Gavin Thomas takes on the captaincy role at Sandy Park.
In the backs, the blow of Tonderai Chavhanga’s groin injury is offset by the return to fitness of Will Harries who comes straight into the starting line-up after recovering from ruptured knee ligaments. The other change in the backs is at scrum half where Joe Bedford comes in for Wayne Evans who takes his place on the bench.
Steffan Jones retains the fly half jersey for the trip to Devon and Tom Riley continues as centre partner of captain Ashley Smith after scoring a try in his 50th Dragons cap during last week’s 14-14 draw against Glasgow Warriors.
The other two changes come in the pack. Phil Price starts in place of Nathan Williams and Rob Sidoli comes in for Scott Morgan as the Dragons continue their rotations of the front five.
Newport Gwent Dragons Team
Martyn Thomas, Will Harries, Tom Riley, Andy Tuilagi, Adam Hughes, Steffan Jones, Joe Bedford, Phil Price, Lloyd Burns, Nathan Buck, Adam Jones, Rob Sidoli, Danny Lydiate, Gavin Thomas (c), Toby Faletau
Rhys Buckley, Nathan Williams, Keiron Jenkins, Scott Morgan, Lewis Evans, Wayne Evans, Aled Brew, Jason Tovey