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Welsh Rugby’s second derby in a week takes place on Friday at Rodney Parade where hosts Newport Gwent Dragons welcome the Ospreys who will be looking to prove a point on the road East after losing out to the Scarlets last weekend at home.

And it will be a big night for Wales international Taulupe Faletau who has been named as skipper for first time to lead the derby clash on Friday 1st April, KO 19:05.

The 25-year-old will potentially make his last appearance at Rodney Parade, before moving to Bath, unless the Men of Gwent can take the win against Gloucester in the quarter-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup with Sale Sharks also winning against Montpellier.

With over 150 appearances for the Welsh Region, Faletau will run out as Captain for the first time in his career. Talking about taking on the role of skipper, the back-row commented: “There have been people before me who have led the team superbly and I’m honoured to follow behind them.

“The only time that I’ve captained a side has been on FIFA! I’ve already told the team that it will be a pretty quiet changing room but hopefully I can have a few words to get the boys up for it.”

He continued: “I’m not really thinking about it being my last game (at Rodney Parade), it’s just another game of rugby, but derbies are always exciting games with a bit of edge with competition for places.”

Director of Rugby, Lyn Jones has made two changes to the team that narrowly lost out to Edinburgh last weekend as Elliot Dee and Matthew Screech are named. The back three remain unchanged as fullback Carl Meyer gets the nod alongside Ashton Hewitt and last weekend’s try-scorer Hallam Amos. The centre partnership of Tyler Morgan and Adam Warren also remains unchanged. Fly-half Dorian Jones is also selected alongside scrum-half Sarel Pretorius.

The front row has one change made to it as hooker Elliot Dee is named alongside props Phil Price and Brok Harris. The second row also has a change made to it as Matthew Screech replaces Cory Hill who suffered a hip injury during the match last weekend. Screech scrums down alongside experienced lock Rynard Landman. The back row sees flankers Lewis Evans and Nic Cudd selected alongside skipper Taulupe Faletau.

The replacements bench sees three changes as Thomas Rhys Thomas, Nick Crosswell and Geraint Rhys Jones join Boris Stankovich, Lloyd Fairbrother, Ed Jackson, Charlie Davies and Adam Hughes.

Newport Gwent Dragons team to face Ospreys: Carl Meyer, Ashton Hewitt, Tyler Morgan, Adam Warren, Hallam Amos, Dorian Jones, Sarel Pretorius; Phil Price, Elliot Dee, Brok Harris, Rynard Landman, Matthew Screech, Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd, Taulupe Faletau ©.

Replacements: Thomas Rhys Thomas, Boris Stankovich, Lloyd Fairbrother, Nick Crosswell, Ed Jackson, Charlie Davies, Geraint Rhys Jones, Adam Hughes.


Steve Tandy’s team know that with only four games left in the Guinness PRO12 competition they have to put in strong performances and give impact to their end of season campaign.

Ospreys Head Coach, Steve Tandy, said: “It’s another derby match for us on Friday, another tough evening in store. There are four games left and we want to end the season positively, it’s important that we don’t go quietly. While there is still a chance of finishing top six we must keep going, must target winning performances, and take what comes with that. We can’t be left wondering ‘what if’ at the end of the season.

“Last weekend was a difficult one for us and the review process has made for uncomfortable viewing, but we have to learn from it and move on. It’s not a time for making small talk, when you have a setback like that it’s about actions and how you react to adversity.

“Everybody knows the feeling of disappointment that we shared last Saturday, we have to take that and ensure we don’t feel it again on Friday night. The Dragons will be up for it, their supporters will want to make life difficult for us, so it’s important that we are up for the challenge and show what we are made of as a collective, regardless of youth, or who’s in the team or unavailable.

“It’s only as a collective that we can achieve what we want, this weekend and the rest of the season.”

The Ospreys team: 15 Dan Evans;14 Hanno Dirksen;13 Owen Watkin; 12 Josh Matavesi; 11 Eli Walker; 10 Dan Biggar; 9 Rhys Webb (Capt);1 Nicky Smith; 2 Scott Baldwin;3 Dmitri Arhip; 4 Adam Beard; 5 Rynier Bernardo; 6 Olly Cracknell; 7 Sam Underhill; 8 James King

Replacements:16 Scott Otten;17 Gareth Thomas; 18 Aaron Jarvis; 19 Dan Lydiate; 20 Joe Bearman; 21 Brendon Leonard; 22 Sam Davies; 23 Jeff Hassler

Adam Beard will makes his first Ospreys start.