With just one Guinness PRO14 match taking place this weekend, all eyes will be on Rodney Parade where Dragons face Benetton on Friday night...
Friday 6th March, 7.35pm, Rodney Parade, Newport
Match tickets remain on sale throughout Friday. Gates open at 6pm on Friday evening – rugby is back on Parade so make sure you come and join us! Call 01633 674990 or CLICK HERE to buy online.
Live on Premier Sports 1, eir Sport 2, DAZN, pro14.tv
This cross-conference clash was scheduled to be staged on February 15 only for it be called off due to Storm Dennis. Since then, Dragons slumped to a 34-19 defeat at Glasgow Warriors before coming from behind to beat Toyota Cheetahs 13-10 with Sam Davies dispatching a match-winning penalty at the death.
Benetton, meanwhile, have suffered further frustration as they let slip a 19-7 lead to lose 34-24 at Cardiff Blues and then had another cancellation as their meeting with Ulster was postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak in Italy. Benetton will now look to get their campaign back on track and register their first victory of 2020.
Dragons will be buoyed by last weekend’s win over Cheetahs, but they will be without last-gasp hero Davies due to training commitments with Wales. Fly-half Jacob Botica takes his place, while Josh Reynolds comes in for the injured Aaron Jarvis at loosehead prop.
Benetton Rugby: Luca Sperandio, Angelo Esposito, Ignacio Brex, Marco Zanon, Monty Ioane, Ian Keatley (c), Charly Trussardi; Nicola Quaglio, Tomas Baravalle, Filippo Alongi, Irné Herbst, Eli Snyman, Michele Lamaro, Federico Ruzza, Toa Halafihi.
Replacements: Hame Faiva, Federico Zani, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Marco Fuser, Giovanni Pettinelli, Luca Petrozzi, Ian McKinley, Joaquin Riera.
Three to Watch:
Ireland international Ian Keatley agreed to join Italian side Benetton Rugby at the end of last season. Keatley, who can play centre, fly-half or full-back, moved to Treviso following an eight-year Munster career. The Dublin-native trails only Ronan O'Gara on Munster's all-time scoring list with 1,247 points from his 180 games for the province. Having made his Ireland debut against Canada in 2009, Keatley has scored 37 points in seven Test appearances.
Nephew of Digby Ioane, Monty, is much like his uncle in the way he plays with his attacking ability and defensive work. Ioane helped the Steelers to the Mitre 10 Cup championship final before joining Benneton in late 2017, having started his career at the age of 16 in Brisbane for Queensland Reds academy before he moved to Stade Francais along with his uncle Digby. In November 2017, Monty signed for Benetton Rugby in Treviso, and after 10 appearances and 9 tries, he signed a new two-year deal with the club.
A hard ball-carrying loose forward Toa Halafihi started his professional career in the 2014 ITM Cup when he represented Taranaki. He slowly grew as a player and fine-tuned his skill before being called up into the Hurricanes Super Rugby squad ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season. Toa played twice for the Hurricanes during the 2017 Super Rugby season and represented Taranaki in the 2017 Mitre 10 Cup campaign. In October 2017, he signed a deal with Top 14 side Lyon as a medical joker for Carl Fearns. He made 12 appearances for Lyon that made the semi-finals of the Top14. He built on his impressive form for Taranaki in 2017 and his time with Lyon as he returned to Taranaki for the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup. Halafihi signed a deal with Benetton Treviso in December 2018.
CLICK HERE to buy online or call the Ticket Office on 01633 674990 and take you place for all the action!