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Dragons vs Leinster Rugby
Pro14 Round 10 Conference B
Rodney Parade, Newport
Saturday, 1st December 2018, 17:15

TV: Live on Eir Sports

Last week's game turned out to be much easier than expected for Leinster.

After naming such an inexperienced team, Leinster looked up against it but they absolutely crushed an Ospreys team who uncharacteristically threw up the white flag after about twenty minutes. But Leinster will just be happy with how youngsters like Scott Penny, Hugo Keenan and Conor O'Brien went. Ciaran Frawley also performed commendably and he and O'Brien could come in very useful over the new seven weeks considering the amount of injuries Leinster have to midfield and back three players.

Leinster are facing into a bank of games which can make or break their season. First up it's the Bath double-header, then three inter-pros over the Christmas period before Toulouse at home and Wasps away. Before that though, it's Dragons away at Rodney Parade.

Although it's been a bit of a stroll on their last two visits, Rodney Parade hasn't always been a fun place for Leinster to visit and they lost on both their two visits before that in 2015 & '16. The Dragons seem to have found a bit of form too and last week they recorded their best win of the season by beating Edinburgh 18-12 at home. That was their first league win since September and their coach Bernard Jackman is able to recall some of his international contingent this week. Jackman actually won't be at the match because he's currently serving a stadium ban for criticising referee Ian Davies after they lost to Cardiff. While it was probably wasn't the wisest thing to do, he wasn't wrong as Davies is truly inept and his incompetence has haunted the competition for far too long.

He has named a team that shows only one change from last week with Aaron Wainwright starting at open-side flanker after he was very impressive off the bench for Wales against South Africa. Three other current internationals Cory Hill, Ross Moriarty and Elliot Dee all return to the bench.

For Leinster Leo Cullen is only able to recall a couple of his international contingent. Ross Byrne is selected at number 10 after winning two caps in the autumn international series. He's partnered by Jamison Gibson-Park and Dave Kearney comes into the team on the left wing.

There is a positional change in the midfield with Conor O'Brien moving to inside centre with Jimmy O'Brien coming into the number 13 jersey to make his first senior start after making his debut off the bench last week. In the pack Ed Byrne starts at loosehead in the only change from last week. On the bench prop Andrew Porter returns and academy player Paddy Patterson is in line to make his debut at scrumhalf.

Given the strength of the teams this could genuinely be a tricky one for Leinster's young side. Winning at the RDS is one thing but doing so on a cold winters night in Rodney Parade is something else entirely.

If they do manage a win, it will be quite impressive.

Team Lineups


Leinster Rugby
Teams Jordan Williams 15 Hugo Keenan
Jared Rosser 14 Adam Byrne
Tyler Morgan 13 Jimmy O'Brien
Jarryd Sage 12 Conor O'Brien
Hallam Amos 11 Dave Kearney
Jason Tovey 10 Ross Byrne
Rhodri Williams 9 Jamison Gibson-Park

Ryan Bevington 1 Ed Byrne
Richard Hibbard 2 James Tracy
Lloyd Fairbrother 3 Michael Bent
Rynard Landman 4 Ross Molony
Lewis Evans 5 Scott Fardy (C)
Harri Keddie 6 Josh Murphy
Aaron Wainwright 7 Scott Penny
Ollie Griffiths 8 Caelan Doris

Replacements Elliot Dee 16 Bryan Byrne
Aaron Jarvis 17 Peter Dooley
Leon Brown 18 Andrew Porter
Cory Hill 19 Mick Kearney
Ross Moriarty 20
Max Deegan
Tavis Knoyle 21 Paddy Patterson
Arwel Robson 22 Ciaran Frawley
Adam Warren 23 Ton Daly

Not Considered
due to Injury

Will Connors,
Barry Daly,
Fergus McFadden,
Rory O'Loughlin,
Joe Tomane,
Sean O'Brien,
Robbie Henshaw,
Jordan Larmour,
Jack Conan,
Nick McCarthy
Officials Referee: Lloyd Linton (SRU),
Assistant Referees: Sam Grove-White (SRU), Dewi Phillips (WRU)
TMO: Tim Hayes (WRU)

by Jim O'Connor, © 2018-11-30