Keys coach Woods lauds Dragons link-up

South Wales Argus: Keys coach Woods lauds Dragons link-up Keys coach Woods lauds Dragons link-up

ARGENTINA international prop Francisco Chaparro is poised for his Cross Keys debut against Moseley in the British and Irish Cup this afternoon (kick-off 2pm).

The twice-capped Newport Gwent Dragons tighthead has been named on the bench for the Pool One encounter at Billesley Common.

He is joined in the matchday squad by four regional teammates – centre Lewis Robling, hooker Elliot Dee, flanker Darren Waters and scrum-half Luc Jones.

It brings the total of senior Dragons that have turned out for the Pandy Park outfit in the cross-border tournament to nine and head coach Greg Woods believes the club have enjoyed a fruitful partnership with the region.

"I think that we have dealt with it in the correct way and it has benefited everyone," he said.

"The Dragons have given us great support and have benefitted from players getting game time against quality opposition but we have kept our club identity."

The British and Irish Cup games have also helped in the development of openside flanker Scott Matthews, who made his European debut for the Dragons on Thursday evening.

The combative 19-year-old has impressed for Keys this season and will feature for Wales Under-20s in the Six Nations.

Leinster A have already won Pool One and even a bonus point victory is unlikely to be enough to secure a quarter-final spot as one of the two best runners-up for Keys.

Cross Keys: R Lee, K Baller, N Williams, L Robling, N Trowbridge, D Jones, O Jones, R Cornock, E Dee, C Gould, D Hodge, O Hodge, P Sargent, R Tucker, A Powell (captain). Replacements: L Garrett, H Palmer, F Chaparro, T Lampard, D Waters, L Jones, P Williams.

- Ebbw Vale can take another step towards the Championship title with victory against their nearest rivals this afternoon.

The Steelmen have won all 14 of their league games so far this season, 12 of them with bonus points, and head west to Narberth.

Last weekend the second-placed outfit suffered their first defeat in their 10 games since losing at Eugene Cross Park in September when downed 28-6 at RGC 1404.

If Ebbw take the spoils then Pontypool will climb up a place from third with a home victory against Llanharan.

Pooler, who lost when the sides met at the Dairy Field, are unbeaten in five league games.

It may not be tight at the top but there is plenty to play for at the bottom of the table.

Blackwood, in 12th, and Newbridge, 10th, are in need of victories when they host bottom club Bonymaen and one-from-bottom Beddau respectively.

Other fixtures: Cardiff Met v RGC 1404, Tata Steel v Bargoed, Tondu v Bridgend Athletic.

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