Chavhanga heads to Newport for vital game time
ANOTHER South African international is poised to don the black and amber of Newport – Dragons speedster Tonderai Chavhanga.
The former Springboks speedster will feature in the Black and Ambers’ British and Irish Cup encounter against Connacht Eagles on Saturday afternoon.
Chavhanga, who won four caps, will follow in the footsteps of South Africa internationals Percy Montgomery, Gary Teichmann, Franco Smith, Robbie Kempson and Adrian Garvey.
The 28-year-old from Zimbabwe is on the comeback trail following summer knee surgery, but is not yet fit enough to play a full game.
That means that he will be plying his trade at Rodney Parade on Saturday afternoon rather than making his return against Wasps at Adams Park for the Dragons in the Amlin Challenge Cup later that evening.
“We are under medical advice for him to play 20 minutes, so felt we couldn’t take him to Wasps,” said director of rugby Robert Beale.
“It’s difficult because there is not enough room on the bench to accommodate two wingers and if you suffer an injury in the first five minutes you have a dilemma.
“He will play for Newport against Connacht in the British and Irish Cup and we are very grateful to them for allowing us to do that.
“Hopefully he will come through the 20 minutes for them and will be available for Bayonne in the Amlin Challenge Cup the following week.”
The Dragons are, however, boosted by the return from injury of lock Robert Sidoli, who has been out of action since suffering a calf injury against Biarritz in pre-season.
The 33-year-old comes into the squad in place of fellow veteran Adam Jones, who is rested after starting all six RaboDirect Pro12 games despite going under the knife in the summer following a foot problem.
The Dragons also include talented teenagers Hallam Amos and Jack Dixon, who both made their regional debuts in last year’s LV= Cup win against Wasps at Adams Park.
Experienced hooker Steve Jones misses out because of a facial injury while centres Pat Leach and Andy Tuilagi, who have been paired together in midfield in five of six games this season, are not included in the squad.
Dragons squad: D Evans, H Amos, T Prydie, W Harries, A Hughes, J Dixon, A Smith, L Robling, S Jones, J Evans, L Davies, P Price, N Williams, A Coundley, H Gustafson, S Parry, N Buck, D Way, I Nimmo, R Sidoli, L Evans, J Groves, T Faletau, T Brown, I Jones.