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Its Knockout Time for the Dragons

Newport Gwent Dragons take on the Llanelli Scarlets at Rodney Parade on Friday night kick off 7.05pm in the quarter finals of the Celtic Cup competition.

Kath McCarthy | 27/04/2005

Newport Gwent Dragons take on the Llanelli Scarlets at Rodney Parade on Friday night kick off 7.05pm in the quarter finals of the Celtic Cup competition.

The Dragons have announced their team for the Welsh derby match and name an unchanged backline from the team that defeated Connacht in the last home Celtic League game of the season. In the forwards Adam Black replaces Rod Snow and Rhys Thomas comes in for Chris Anthony. In the back row Rhys Oakley replaces the suspended Jamie Ringer. Nine replacements for the match on Friday night have been named with the replacements finalised after captain’s run on Thursday.

The Dragons are waiting on the fitness of Gareth Cooper who is still suffering with an ankle injury sustained in March so Newport’s James Ireland acts as cover. Matthew Veater has also been drafted into the squad and named among the replacements.

Looking ahead to the Celtic Cup competition coach Chris Anderson commented,

“It is a brand new competition for us and whilst it is a knock out tournament and we will have to prepare for that, it is a chance for us to capture some silverware. If we are to progress to the semi final then we need to put together an 80 minute performance on Friday night. We are under no illusions that it will be a tough game with both sides wanting to secure a place in the latter stages of the competition and there is also the added incentive of a home draw in the semi final. We are expecting the Scarlets to throw everything at us and it is important that we weather the early storm but if we stick together and keep to our game plan then we can get the right result. It is a great way to end the season and we are determined to end it on a high. It is fantastic to have something like this at the end of the season and something meaningful to play for. ”

 

The record between the two sides this season currently stands at one a-piece with The Dragons winning 15-0 in September and the Scarlets winning 35-26 in a tight game at Stradey Park on New Years Day.

“The Celtic Cup is great for the supporters of our region and we hope they will turn out in force for the Welsh derby and really get behind us,” commented prop Adam Black. “This competition is our chance for silverware and to have a home draw in the cup is a massive plus. We are proud to play at Rodney Parade and we have got a good home record, which we want to keep. The Scarlets by their standards had a disappointing end to their season and will no doubt want to end with some silverware and view this competition as the vehicle to clinch a trophy. Having faced the Scarlets twice already this season and having played against them many times before we know the players and the style of game they play. However, we will not be underestimating them, they are a team who have quality players throughout and are dangerous. However, they have to come to us so the pressure is all on them but it is up to us to perform at home and ensure we progress to the semi finals of the competition.”

Team

Kevin Morgan, Gareth Wyatt, Percy Montgomery, Jonathan Bryant, Ben Breeze, Ceri Sweeney, Gareth Baber, Adam Black, Steve Jones, Rhys Thomas, Ian Gough, Luke Charteris, Rhys Oakley, Jason Forster (c), Michael Owen.

Replacements from – James Richards, Rod Snow, Chris Anthony, Peter Sidoli, Craig Warlow, Sione Tuipulotu, Gareth Cooper, James Ireland, Matthew Veater.

Supporters are reminded that the Celtic Cup competition is an all pay game. Tickets are available from the Rodney Parade ticket office (01633 674990) and if you book your ticket before match day not only will you avoid queuing on the night but you can also take advantage of the early bird ticket prices.

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