Dragons name team for Irish encounter
WALES stars Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau will make their first starts of pre-season for Newport Gwent Dragons against London Irish at Rodney Parade tomorrow (kick-off 7.30pm).
The pair are joined in the back row by openside Darren Waters, who has caught the eye in the absence of skipper Lewis Evans.
Speedster Matthew Pewtner also makes his first start on the left wing, joining summer arrivals Tom Prydie and Dan Evans in the back three.
Pat Leach and Adam Hughes resume their midfield partnership that was first formed in the black and amber of Newport in 2009.
Phil Price gets the nod at loosehead after an impressive scrummaging display against a powerful Biarritz outfit last weekend.
Welshmen Steve Shingler and Darren Allison have to be content with places on the bench for Irish, who pair summer signings Tomas O’Leary and Shane Geraghty at half-back.
They will be charged with unleashing a dangerous set of backs that features Sailosi Tagicakibau and Topsy Ojo on the wings, prolific goalkicking full-back Tom Homer and Scotland’s Joe Ansbro and England’s Jonathan Joseph in midfield.
The Dragons are searching for their first win of the summer after losing to a Gwent Select XV at the Parade and suffering a 40-3 drubbing against Biarritz last Friday.
Dragons: D Evans, T Prydie, A Hughes, P Leach, M Pewtner, S Jones, W Evans, P Price, S Jones (captain), N Buck, I Nimmo, A Coombs, D Lydiate, D Waters, T Faletau.
Replacements: N Williams, A Coundley, S Parry, H Gustafson, D Way, T Ryan, J Groves, T Brown, H Stoddart, I Jones, J Evans, L Robling, A Tuilagi, J Dixon, R Wardle, M Poole.
London Irish: T Homer, T Ojo, J Joseph, J Ansbro, S Tagicakibau, S Geraghty, T O’Leary, M Lahiff, S Lawson, L Halavatau, B Evans (captain), M Garvey, A Gray, O Treviranus, J Fisher.
Replacements: C Connor, S Malton, H Aulika, J Sandford, K Low, J Gibson, G Ellis, D Allinson, S Shingler, C Gaston, M Worrincy