Young Guns Ready To Face Glasgow

Newport Gwent Dragons take on Glasgow in a Magners League match at Rodney Parade (7.30pm) on Friday night as they kick off a busy month.

Kath McCarthy | 01/03/2007

Newport Gwent Dragons take on Glasgow in a Magners League match at Rodney Parade (7.30pm) on Friday night as they kick off a busy month which concludes with a home quarter-final European Challenge Cup tie.

The Dragons have named their team which shows four changes to the starting line up from the side that secured a losing bonus point in Ulster a fortnight ago with Michael Owen keeping the captains armband. The Dragons again feature a number of young players who have done the region proud this season with five of the starting XV 23 years of age or under. Aled Thomas (22) keeps his position at full back while Wales U20 captain Ashley Smith (20) has recovered from a shoulder injury and replaces Phil Dollman (21) at inside centre and he moves to the replacements bench. 20 year old Aled Brew is selected on the wing and will be looking to maintain his recent impressive form which has led to his inclusion in Wales' Six Nations squad while Alex Walker (20) replaces Gareth Cooper at scrum half.

Luke Charteris (23) who has signed an extension to his contract to keep him at the region for another two seasons forms the second row partnership with Peter Sidoli. The other changes to the team from the one that started in Ravenhill sees prop Lee Harrison back after recovering from a foot injury while Colin Charvis replaces Andrew Hall at blindside flanker.

Looking ahead to Friday night's game Head Coach Paul Turner said, "Glasgow will provide a huge challenge to the squad, they are at the top of their game at the moment after seeing off the Scarlets two weeks ago. They play a fluid brand of rugby, are well organised and have some key players in key positions who are match winners."

Thirteen of the starting XV are Welsh qualified for The Dragons as they aim to develop players for the international stage.

On the replacements bench the youngster theme is continued with four of the substitutions 22 or under; academy hooker Richard Wilkes (21), prop Jamie Corsi (19), Richard Fussell (22) and Dollman (21).

The Dragons will be looking to maintain their impressive home record which has seen them not lose at home since September when the suffered an agonising one point loss to the Scarlets. However, they are more than aware of the impressive form Glasgow are showing at present with Paul Turner continuing, "Last time out Glasgow comprehensively beat the Scarlets, they came from behind to secure the win and are in good form at present. Like us they have secured a quarter-final place in the European Challenge Cup and remain unbeaten since losing to Ulster in January and before that had secured a six game winning streak at Hughenden. They will be a tough proposition for us, however, if we show the spirit we did in Ravenhill and coupled with more composure then there is no reason why our home winning run cannot continue."

Dragons Team

Aled Thomas, Gareth Wyatt, Paul Emerick, Ashley Smith, Aled Brew, Ceri Sweeney, Alex Walker, Adam Black, Ben Daly, Lee Harrison, Luke Charteris, Peter Sidoli, Colin Charvis, Jamie Ringer, Michael Owen (c)


Richard Wilkes, Jamie Corsi, Andrew Hall, Nic Fitisemanu, Richard Fussell, Phil Dollman, Gareth Cooper.


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