Dragons v Connacht Rugby – Live updates, Preview & Team News – 7:30pm Friday

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Updated: September 15, 2017
connacht muldoon

We have live score updates from Dragons v Connacht, we also have team news and preview of the match that starts at 7:30pm Friday.

CLICK FOR LIVE RUGBY UPDATE

Overall Guinness PRO14 head to head record
Played 28, Dragons won 10 Connacht won 18.
FACTS TO KNOW
Dragons only victory in their last fifteen Guinness PRO14 matches was 26-8 at home to Benetton last January.
The Welsh Region’s most recent victory at Rodney Parade was 34-10 over Russian outfit Enisei in round 5 of last season’s European Challenge Cup in January.
Dragons last win over an Irish province was against this week’s opponents, Connacht, in Newport in round 8 last season.
Connacht’s triumph over Southern Kings on Friday ended a run of five straight defeats in the Guinness PRO14.
The Irishmen’s only away victory in the last four rounds was in Edinburgh on 7 April.
Connacht won on their most recent visit to Wales, beating the Blues 19-13 in Cardiff in February.
Connacht’s only loss in their last nine encounters with Dragons was at Rodney Parade on 4 November
2016.
COMPARISON
Dragons
Connacht
Last 3 PRO14 results:
6 May – Cardiff Blues (H) L 24-26
6 May – Munster (A) L 14-50
2 Sep – Leinster (H) L 16-39
2 Sep – Glasgow (H) L 12-18
8 Sep – Edinburgh (A) L 18-35
9 Sep – Southern Kings (H) W 32-10
PRO14 2017/18
Conf B: 6th – W0 D0 L2 – 0pts
Conf A: 3rd – W1 D0 L1 – 6pts
PRO14 form
Ll (0pts)
LW (6pts)
Top try scorer
1 – Penalty Try
1 – Darragh Leader, Tom Farrell, Eoghan
Masterson, Ultan Dillane
Top points scorer
27 – Gavin Henson
24 – Jack Carty

 

Head Coach Kieran Keane has made seven changes to the Connacht side that secured a bonus-point win against the Southern Kings last week as the province travel to Rodney Parade to take on Newport Gwent Dragons (7.30pm).

Rory Scholes, Caolin Blade, Denis Coulson, Conor Carey, Quinn Roux and Jake Heenan all come into the side for their first starts of the season as Eoghan Masterson comes back in for his second start.

Scholes is set to make his competitive debut for the province on the wing in place of Matt Healy.

Blade is included in the side at scrum-half in place of Irish international Kieran Marmion, who is named among the replacements.

The other five changes are in the pack with two alterations in the front row. Coulson makes his first start for Connacht at loosehead prop after coming off the bench to make his debut in the win over the Kings with Carey starting at tighthead prop.

Ireland international Roux and Heenan also come into the side for their first starts of the season with Roux in the second row and Heenan in the back row.

Masterson, a try-scorer off the bench last week, replaces the injured Sean O’Brien.

With six points from two home games, Connacht are on the road for the first time this season in Wales and Assistant Coach Nigel Carolan is not underestimating the challenge posed by Bernard Jackman’s Dragons side.

Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Carolan said: “Bernard Jackman is trying to rebuild the Dragons and create a strong identity, much like he did in Grenoble. They will be a tight-knit group and very difficult to play against.

“They have some real firepower with Ashton Hewitt, Zane Kirchner, and the boot of Gavin Henson. It is going to be a very difficult game for us and we have to make sure we build on last week and are more effective than we were against the Kings.”

Please note this game is not televised but follow @ConnachtRugby on Twitter for live updates from Rodney Parade.

Kick-off 7.30pm

Connacht: (15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran, Darragh Leader, Tom Farrell, Bundee Aki, Rory Scholes, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade, (1-8) Denis Coulson, Tom McCartney, Conor Carey, Quinn Roux, James Cannon, Eoghan Masterson, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon.

Replacements (16-23): Dave Heffernan, Peter McCabe, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Gavin Thornbury, Jarrad Butler, Kieran Marmion, Steve Crosbie, Eoin Griffin.

The Dragons have had a double boost for their match against Connacht, this Friday night, as Welsh International Ollie Griffiths returns along with South African Scrum-half Sarel Pretorius.

The young flanker will make his first appearance of the season for the Region following a summer tour with Wales, after making his debut for his county against Tonga.

The Welsh Region take on the Irish men on Friday 15th September, KO 19:30 at Rodney Parade. With forwards coach Ceri Jones looking forward to Griffiths’ return: “Ollie was outstanding last year for us so to have him back in the mix is great. We just want him to put consistent performances in for us, then it’s down to the Welsh selectors to have a look at him.

“If you look at Ollie as an athlete I think there are not many better than him in Wales.

“It would be a huge challenge for him taking that step up to international rugby but I feel he is ready for it. I like Ollie a lot as a player and a person.”

Including Pretorius and Griffiths, Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman has made three personnel changes and two positional changes to the team that lost out to Edinburgh at Myreside. With no changes made to the back three, it’s Jack Dixon who joins Tyler Morgan in the centre partnership. The halfbacks also have one change as fly-half Gavin Henson is joined by scrum-half Sarel Pretorius.

Both the front row and second row are unchanged however the back row sees Harrison Keddie swap places with James Benjamin, as he moves to flanker and Benjamin moves to number eight.

They are joined in the back row by flanker Ollie Griffiths.

The replacements bench sees five changes made, with the inclusion of Gerard Ellis and Robson Blake who are set to make their first Guinness PRO14 appearances.

Dragons team to face Connacht

15 Zane Kirchner, 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 Rynard Landman, 5 Cory Hill ©, 6 Harrison Keddie, 7 Ollie Griffiths, 8 James Benjamin.

Replacements: Gerard Ellis, Thomas Davies, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, Robson Blake, Owain Leonard, Dorian Jones, Jared Rosser.

Connacht: (15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran, Darragh Leader, Tom Farrell, Bundee Aki, Rory Scholes, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade, (1-8) Denis Coulson, Tom McCartney, Conor Carey, Quinn Roux, James Cannon, Eoghan Masterson, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon.

Replacements (16-23): Dave Heffernan, Peter McCabe, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Gavin Thornbury, Jarrad Butler, Kieran Marmion, Steve Crosbie, Eoin Griffin.

 

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