Dragons Head Coach, Bernard Jackman has named his team that will face the Southern Kings on Saturday evening at Rodney Parade, KO 19:35.
This will be their first encounter as the South African side joined the Guinness PRO12 championship along with the Toyota Cheetahs forming a newly named competition, PRO14.
The Kings are yet to win a match in the competition so Dragons scrum-half Sarel Pretorius understands that they will be targeting the important win. He said: “They have nothing to lose and that sort of team is always dangerous, so we can’t just say ‘it’s the Kings, they are new to the competition, they are vulnerable’.
“They will be targeting us and we have to stick to our guns and do what we need to. We know their threats – they have a very good back three so we have to tidy up any loose kicks because they will punish us.”
The South African side will travel to Wales for the second time this season, after their loss against current champions Scarlets: “They showed against the Scarlets, when it was close at half-time, that there is a lot of talent in their squad. We can’t go off-plan and know exactly what we have to do because if we go loose it’s what they like,” Pretorius added.
Jackman fields a similar side to the team that beat Connacht at Rodney Parade two weeks ago. South African fullback Carl Meyer returns to the back three to join wings Ashton Hewitt and Welsh International Hallam Amos. The centre partnership sees Tyler Morgan and Jack Dixon get the nod, whilst Gavin Henson is named at fly-half with Sarel Pretorius coming in as scrum-half.
The front row sees hooker Elliot Dee named alongside props Brok Harris and Leon Brown, whilst Matthrew Screech joins skipper Cory Hill in the second row as flankers James Thomas and Ollie Griffiths line up next to number 8 James Benjamin.
The replacements bench sees Ellis Shipp named along with Thomas Davies, Lloyd Fairbrother, Joe Davies, Aaron Wainwright, Dane Blacker, Angus O’Brien, Thretton Palamo.
Dragons team to face Southern Kings: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Ashton Hewitt, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Gavin Henson, 9 Sarel Pretorius; 1 Brok Harris, 2 Elliot Dee, 3 Leon Brown, 4 Matthew Screech, 5 Cory Hill (c), 6 James Thomas, 7 Ollie Griffiths, 8 James Benjamin.
Replacements: Ellis Shipp, Thomas Davies, Lloyd Fairbrother, Joe Davies, Aaron Wainwright, Dane Blacker, Angus O’Brien, Thretton Palamo.
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