TURNER TARGETS DERBY TRIUMPH
Newport Gwent Dragons Head Coach Paul Turner has announced his 25-man squad ahead of the Magners League derby game against the Ospreys at Rodney Parade on Friday 19 December, kick-off 7.35pm.
The Head Coach is looking for a win this weekend as the Dragons bid to climb the Magners League. The Men of Gwent were victorious in this same fixture last season at Rodney Parade and this will boost them ahead of Friday’s derby thriller.
Paul Turner said: “We must be positive about the upcoming games and realise that we have got to win them. It is important that we start stringing some results together as we attempt to climb up the Magners League.
“The Ospreys are a talented squad who we are very familiar with and we will have to be at our best in our attempt to get the desired result on the weekend.”
He added: “Friday night’s game is the first of two home fixtures against teams that look to be heading towards a quarter-final spot in the Heineken Cup and the semi-finals in the EDF Energy Cup which is testament to the strength of their squads and their capabilities.
“Here we have a good squad and I’m proud of their efforts this season. We are building slowly and trying to develop our young players. These players will have learned a lot from playing against Toulouse in the Heineken Cup.”
The Dragons put in a huge performance against three-time European champions Toulouse in the Heineken Cup last weekend at Rodney Parade. Paul said:
“We’ve got to take the things we did well last weekend and really be positive about those. We’ve also got to work on a couple of other little things which we didn’t do so well and have addressed these in training throughout the week.
“We’ve talked all week about being efficient and improving our work-rate and energy. I was really proud of the brave effort that the players put in last weekend and we must bring that to the game on the weekend.”
Dragons centre Ashley Smith knows what is expected of the team this weekend following their tough Heineken Cup encounters. He commented:
“We’re looking to build on last week’s performance and carry all the good aspects of our game into a challenging fixture against a great team. We’re training hard for a win this weekend and we expect this of ourselves on our own patch.”
Backs: Phillip Dollman, Jason Tovey, Ashley Smith , Rory Sidey, Richard Fussell, Gareth Wyatt, Rhodri Gomer Davies, James Arlidge, Shaun Connor, Tom Isaacs, Wayne Evans
Forwards: Adam Black, Gethin Robinson, Rhys Thomas, Tom Willis (captain), Steve Jones, Luke Charteris, Adam Jones, Hoani MacDonald, Joe Bearman, Danny Lydiate, Jamie Ringer, Lewis Evans, Colin Charvis, Grant Webb