Dragons make three changes for final game of the season :: 15 May 11:19
Newport Gwent Dragons have made three personnel changes and two positional changes to the team that will face Munster, in their last game of the 2014/15 Season.
Last weekend the Men of Gwent took on a hard hitting Edinburgh side as they looked to have revenge on the Scottish team after losing out to them in the European Challenge Cup Semi Final. The Dragons took away a fantastic win of 19-5 and will look to replicate this against the Munster men on Saturday 16th May, KO 15:00 (Live on TG4).
Newport born Jason Tovey moves position from fly-half to fullback as Tom Prydie moves across the back three to take on the role of wing joining Welsh International Hallam Amos. The young centre pairing of Tyler Morgan and Jack Dixon remains unchanged from last week. Dorian Jones moves from the bench to fly-half and Jonathan Evans makes his last appearance as scrum-half for the Welsh Region before joining up with Bath Rugby next season.
Boris Stankovich, who returned to play against Edinburgh last weekend, starts at loose-head prop and is joined in the front row by fellow prop Brok Harris and hooker Hugh Gustafson. The second row remains unchanged with Cory Hill and Rynard Landman being given the nod. Landman also takes on the role of skipper as T. Rhys Thomas continues his rehab after dislocating his finger during the Edinburgh match last weekend. Flankers Nick Crosswell and Nic Cudd remain alongside number 8 Taulupe Faletau in the back-row.
Four changes have been made to the replacements as Rhys Buckley, Matthew Screech, James Benjamin and Ashton Hewitt join Phil Price, Lloyd Fairbrother, Richie Rees and Geraint Rhys Jones.
Head Coach, Kingsley Jones believes that there has been progress made this season and this step in the right direction means that the squad will go into pre-season with a positive attitude. He commented: “I think there has been progress this season. To get to a semi-final in Europe was a high point – It was a step in the right direction and the number of young players we’ve blooded this season has been a real positive. They’re only going to get better so that’s massive for us.”
Looking back at how the season has played out, Jones added: “The first two months of the season were difficult for us and it took its toll on the squad. We had a lot of injuries and it set us back. We took a little while to recover. But after that the European campaign was excellent for us and, since November, we’ve been pretty good with the exception of Edinburgh away and the Scarlets game.”
Having won 16 matches in all competitions this season, Jones believes the Dragons can look to the top of the table next season. “We’ve won 50 per cent of our games, which is a big positive and it’s the first time the region has done that in a long time. We’ve got 41 points, which would have put us in seventh place in the league last season.
“We want to continue to climb up the league and two more wins would have seen us sitting joint sixth with the Scarlets.
“It’s about us changing perceptions of the Dragons so that we’re not known as the fourth region and this is a step in the right direction.”
Newport Gwent Dragons Team to face Munster
Jason Tovey, Tom Prydie, Tyler Morgan, Jack Dixon, Hallam Amos, Dorian Jones, Jonathan Evans; Boris Stankovich, Hugh Gustafson, Brok Harris, Cory Hill, Rynard Landman ©, Nick Crosswell, Nic Cudd, Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Phil Price, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, James Benjamin, Richie Rees, Ashton Hewitt, Geraint Rhys Jones.