Dragons return to Rodney Parade this weekend for the Anglo-Welsh Cup as they take on Scarlets, Friday KO 19:30.
Twelve of the match-day squad have come through the Dragons’ regional pathway, with the side once again featuring a mixture of youth and experience.
“They need exposure and this is definitely a level up from the Premiership and British and Irish Cup,” said Head Coach Bernard Jackman about the youngster involved this weekend.
“Some of the scores in the Anglo-Welsh Cup are heavy but in general it’s a really good opportunity to give players a chance. The only way that Welsh youngsters will get to the level of the English kids is through more exposure and this competition gives us an avenue to get to that.”
Angus O’Brien is named in the back three at full-back, as Joe Goodchild moves to the wing along with Jared Rosser. Last weekend’s try-scorer Joe Thomas retains his place in the centre as he is partnered with Adam Warren. Arwel Robson remains in the fly-half position as Dan Babos get the nod as scrum-half and makes his debut for the Dragons.
18-year-old Josh Reynolds makes his senior Dragons debut in the front row as he packs down with fellow prop Lloyd Fairbrother and hooker Gerard Ellis. The second row sees Joe Davies selected alongside Matthew Screech whilst the back row has one change made to it as Ollie Griffiths returns from injury to captain the side, joining Ben Roach and Huw Worthington.
The replacements bench sees Brok Harris joined by Ellis Shipp, Sam Hobbs, Rynard Landman, James Benjamin, Callum Morris, who is currently on trial with the Dragons following his inclusion in the Wales U18s squad for South Africa during the Summer, Gavin Henson and Connor Edwards.
Dragons team to face Scarlets
15 Angus O’Brien, 14 Jared Rosser, 13 Joe Thomas, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Joe Goodchild, 10 Arwel Robson, 9 Dan Babos; 1 Josh Reynolds, 2 Gerard Ellis, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 4 Joe Davies, 5 Matthew Screech, 6 Ben Roach, 7 Ollie Griffiths ©, 8 Huw Worthington.
Replacements; Ellis Shipp, Sam Hobbs, Brok Harris, Rynard Landman, James Benjamin, Callum Morris, Gavin Henson, Connor Edwards.