Dragons are back on home soil when they face Castres-Olympqiue at Rodney Parade on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm) and the Men of Gwent will be hoping that history repeats itself, with the home side having won both their previous encounters.
Those matches took place in 2015/16, when the Welsh region were squeezed out 32-29 in France before gaining their revenge at home with a 31-18 success.
- The Dragons last two games in the Challenge Cup have brought their biggest win (59-3 v Timisoara Saracens) and heaviest defeat (49-7 v ASM Clermont Auvergne.
- Castres have won eight of their nine games against Welsh opposition in the Challenge Cup, their solitary defeat coming in that 2015/16 game at Dragons.
- The Dragons scored five tries from their maul in the Challenge Cup last season, more than any other side
French Top14 giants Castres Olympique have named a powerful side for the European opener at Rodney Parade. French international centre Yann David starts the game in a back line that also includes Fijian wing star Filipo Nakosi and Canadian international wide man Taylor Paris. The vastly experienced fly half Ludovic Radosavljevic will captain the team while Tongan international powerhouse duo Paea Fa’a and Maama Vaipulu are named in the pack. Tickets remain on sale by clicking HERE or from the Ticket Office right until kick-off on the day! Here is what is happening on matchday....
GUARD OF HONOUR (supported by Wilko: The home of family value)
We will be welcome youngsters, oaches and parents from Caldicot, Trefil, Croesyceiliog, Newbridge, Bargoed rugby clubs for today's Guard of honour. Give them a big cheer as they enter the field of play to welcome both teams onto the pitch.
The match day collection will be for Reach, which is the leading charity providing support and information to parents and their children affectd by upper limb difference. Please give generously.
LIVE MUSIC IN FANZONE
Performing before the game alongside our new hosts from Newport City Radio, are Oxbowlake. Join the band and the team from the station from 1.45pm, where they will be meeting players, revealing the teams and much more. After the game in the fanzone marquee we welcome south Wales band Retrospect. Join them for a boogie after the game
The Dragons choir will also be with us at the game, and you can catch them in Rodney's before kick off as well as pitchside at half time. If you are interested in joining the choir, contact them through the website www.corydreigiau.org
A warm welcome to everyone at today's game, but we'd also like to specially thank Niche IFA and Cineworld, for supporting our Euro opener. Find out more about independent fixed fee financial advice tailored to you at nicheifa.co.uk and check out cineworld.co.uk for the latest from our cinema partners, with their Newport Spytty Park site now the first in Wales to offer the premium formats of 4DX, ScreenX and Superscreen all in one cinema.
Public Bars inside the ground open at 2pm with the fanzone marquee open from 12noon.
Supporters are reminded that all Rodney Parade bars will be cashless for the 2019/20 season - with only card or mobile payment now accepted. Rodney Parade is striving to deliver the best possible fan experience at our iconic home, so starting from today’s double-header with Scarlets, bars within the stadium will no longer accept cash. The venue has operated cashless payment since the start of the season for away football supporters travelling to Rodney Parade and this is now being rolled out across the stadium. All major contactless debit and credit cards will be accepted, with chip and pin applying for purchases over £30. Mobile payments, including Apple Pay and Google Pay will also be able to be used.