Let's get physical - Dragons pick hefty side for Parade clash with Glasgow

RETURN: Dragons prop Rhodri Jones is back after almost two months out <i>(Image: Huw Evans Agency)</i>
RETURN: Dragons prop Rhodri Jones is back after almost two months out (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

THE Dragons have gone with bulk for their United Rugby Championship clash with Glasgow at Rodney Parade tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

Dai Flanagan has made nine changes to the XV that lost to the Lions in Ystrad Mynach on Sunday, four of them enforced.

Hooker Bradley Roberts and wing Rio Dyer are with Wales ahead of the Six Nations - and, unlike Scotland, Warren Gatland has not released any players - while lock Joe Davies and number eight Ross Moriarty have joined the injury list.

Brodie Coghlan comes in for his first professional start at the heart of the front row while Jared Rosser is picked on the right flank.

South Wales Argus: George Nott, Taine Basham and Sean Lonsdale
South Wales Argus: George Nott, Taine Basham and Sean Lonsdale

George Nott, Taine Basham and Sean Lonsdale (Image: Newsquest)

Matthew Screech replaces Davies and Flanagan has gone big in the back row, switching flanker Taine Basham to number eight and bringing in Sean Lonsdale to join fellow blindside/lock George Nott.

Read more about that decision: HERE.

Wales loosehead Rhodri Jones, who has been out since December 10 with a calf strain, gets the nod along with scrum-half Rhodri Williams, fly-half JJ Hanrahan and centres Jack Dixon and Sio Tomkinson.

The selection of a strong-running, hard-hitting midfield, a hefty back row and the experienced half-back partnership suggests that the Dragons will look to make it physical against a dangerous Warriors side.

“Glasgow have a lot of Scotland players away but they have such a strong squad with almost two international XVs in their group,” said head coach Flanagan.

“They have a brand of rugby that is great, they have the ability to squeeze you if they need to but they are also an exciting team who score more tries off kick return than anyone in the league, so we need to make sure our kicking is on point.”

Wales duty means the Dragons are also without tighthead Leon Brown and back row forward Aaron Wainwright, who both came off the bench in the comeback against the Lions.

Glasgow have had six players released by Scotland to feature in a line-up containing 10 internationals.

The front row of Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown and Simon Berghan have been sent out for game time by Gregor Townsend ahead of the Six Nations along with number eight Jack Dempsey, scrum-half Ali Price and centre Stafford McDowall.

The Warriors, coached by former Newport back Franco Smith, head to Newport on an eight-match unbeaten streak.

Dragons: Jordan Williams; Jared Rosser, Sio Tomkinson, Jack Dixon, Ashton Hewitt; JJ Hanrahan, Rhodri Williams (captain); Rhodri Jones, Brodie Coghlan, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, Ben Carter, George Nott, Sean Lonsdale, Taine Basham.

Replacements: James Benjamin, Aki Seiuli, Chris Coleman, Huw Taylor, Ben Fry, Lewis Jones, Sam Davies, Steff Hughes.

Glasgow: Josh McKay; Sebastian Cancelliere, Stafford McDowall (captain), Sam Johnson, Cole Forbes; Duncan Weir, Ali Price; Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown, Simon Berghan, Lewis Bean, JP du Preez, Thomas Gordon, Sione Vailanu, Jack Dempsey.

Replacements: Johnny Matthews, Nathan McBeth, Lucio Sordoni, Alex Samuel, Euan Ferrie, Cameron Neild, Jamie Dobie, Tom Jordan.

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)