WING Ashton Hewitt will captain the Dragons for the first time in tomorrow’s Anglo-Welsh Cup opener at Northampton (kick-off 5.15pm).

The 22-year-old speedster leads a XV featuring three debutants – academy prospect Joe Goodchild at full-back, on-loan Ospreys centre Joe Thomas and RGC 1404 number eight Huw Worthington, who hails from Powys.

Wales 7s international Ben Roach and fly-half Arwel Robson make their first starts after being replacements in last week’s 49-6 drubbing at Munster.

Experience comes in the form of Hewitt, former Northampton centre Pat Howard, scrum-half Charlie Davies and the tight five.

Props Luke Garrett and Lloyd Fairbrother, hooker Liam Belcher and lock Rynard Landman played in Cork while Matthew Screech makes a welcome return from injury in the second row, as does young flanker Lennon Greggains on the bench.

The Saints, who lose to Exeter in their opening fixture last weekend, include former Cardiff Blues lock Michael Paterson while other notable inclusions in the XV are flanker Tom Wood, full-back Harry Mallinder and experienced half-backs Cobus Reinach and Stephen Myler.

Northampton: H Mallinder, JP Estelles, R Hutchinson, T Stephenson, K Pisi, S Myler, C Reinach, F van Wyk, R Marshall, J Ford-Robinson, M Paterson, S Dickinson (captain), T Wood, B Nutely, M Eadie. Replacements: M Haywood, M Beesley, P Hill, A Moon, T Harrison, A Mitchell, J Grayson, B Foden.

Dragons: J Goodchild, J Rosser, J Thomas, P Howard, A Hewitt (captain), A Robson, C Davies, L Garrett, L Belcher, L Fairbrother, M Screech, R Landman, A Wainwright, B Roach, H Worthington. Replacements: G Ellis, T Davies, B Harris, S Andrews, L Greggains, O Leonard, A O’Brien, A Warren.