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New signing Crosswell gets the nod from Jones

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Newport Gwent Dragons flanker Nick Crosswell will make his first appearance for the Men of Gwent on Sunday against Exeter Chiefs in the LV=Cup, KO 14:30.

Crosswell recently signed a contract with the Dragons after leaving New Zealand province the Manawatu Turbos.

The 28-year-old has been training with the Welsh region since his arrival in Wales and is one of twelve changes Dragons management have made to the team that faced Stade Francais in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last weekend.

The back three has one change made to it as fullback Geraint Rhys Jones and wing Tom Prydie are joined by Ashton Hewitt. The centre partnership consists of premiership star Carl Meyer, who joins the Dragons from Ebbw Vale RFC and Dragons stalwart Ashley Smith who takes on the role of skipper. This is Smith's first appearance for the Dragons since recovering from a jaw injury which he sustained whilst playing against Bucharest Wolves in December. Fly half Dorian Jones retains his place from last weekend and is joined in the half backs by scrumhalf Richie Rees.

The front row sees props Lloyd Fairbrother and Dan Way start alongside hooker Hugh Gustafson. The second row has also changed as young guns Matthew Screech and Cory Hill take up the position of lock forwards. The back row is a mixture of youth and experience as flankers Nick Crosswell and James Benjamin are named to play alongside British and Irish lion No.8 Andy Powell.

There are six changes to the replacements bench as Rhys Buckley, Owen Evans, David Young, Joe Davies and Scott Matthews join Luc Jones and Angus O'Brien.

Dragons team to face Exeter Chiefs
Geraint Rhys Jones, Tom Prydie, Carl Meyer, Ashley Smith (c), Ashton Hewitt, Dorian Jones, Richie Rees; Lloyd Fairbrother, Hugh Gustafson, Dan Way, Matthew Screech, Cory Hill, Nick Crosswell, James Benjamin, Andy Powell.

Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Owen Evans, David Young, Joe Davies, Scott Matthews, Luc Jones, Angus O'Brien, Jack Dixon.

Tickets are still on sale for Sundays LV=Cup encounter, so make sure that you #PlayYourPart and get behind the Dragons. Call the ticket office to buy your tickets on 01633 674990 or go to www.newportgwentdragons.com/tickets 

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