Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Regional rugby supporters can look forward to another huge Welsh derby battle on Sunday when the Ospreys host Newport Gwent Dragons with both teams keen to bounce back from local derby defeats in Round 12 of the Guinness PRO12.

Despite losing to local rivals Scarlets last week the Ospreys stayed at the summit of the Guinness PRO12 league table and will look to reinforce their lead at the top with a home win in front of the Ospreylian faithful in Swansea.

The Dragons, who lost a close encounter to their near neighbours the Cardiff Blues on New Year’s Day, will be aiming for a rare win at Liberty Stadium in order to build on their recent run of form that saw them unbeaten in December.

Elsewhere, in a tough looking fixture the Cardiff Blues host current Guinness PRO12 champions Leinster as they seek to start the new year at home with a bang and claim a prized scalp.

Scarlets have a difficult trip to face Glasgow Warriors tonight but will go to Scotland knowing that if they win the run of home league fixtures that follows could hold the key to a play off place for the West Wales region.

Cardiff Blues

Welsh international prop Gethin Jenkins will make his 150th appearance for Cardiff Blues as they face reigning champions Leinster in the Guinness PRO12 at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park tomorrow (2.40pm).

Front row ace Jenkins – who fittingly also made his debut for the region against Leinster back in September 2004 – will captain the side as he reaches another big milestone in his career.

Jenkins will skipper a fairly settled side as Blues Director of Rugby Mark Hammett makes just three changes to the starting line-up that defeated Newport Gwent Dragons on New Year’s Day.

Tighthead prop Adam Jones is called into the front row, to pack down with Kristian Dacey and skipper Jenkins. Lock Lou Reed is also called up to join forces with Samoa international Filo Paulo in the second row.

Wing Alex Cuthbert returns to the backline while fit-again scrum half Lloyd Williams is named among the replacements.

Cardiff Blues: Joaquin Tuculet, Alex Cuthbert, Cory Allen, Gavin Evans, Lucas Amorosino,  Gareth Anscombe, Tavis Knoyle; Gethin Jenkins (captain), Kristian Dacey, Adam Jones, Lou Reed, Filo Paulo, Josh Turnbull, Sam Warburton, Josh Navidi.

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Sam Hobbs, Taufa’ao Filise, Jarrad Hoeata, Manoa Vosawai, Lloyd Williams, Gareth Davies, Adam Thomas.

Ospreys v Newport Gwent Dragons

Ashley Beck makes his 100th appearance for the Ospreys when they face Newport Gwent Dragons in a ferocious Welsh derby at Liberty Stadium on Sunday (4pm).

He will play in a team featuring five changes to the side that lost the second leg of the West Wales derby double-headers at Parc Y Scarlets last week.

Behind the scrum Rhys Webb returns from the illness that kept him out of the West Wales derby to resume his blossoming half back partnership with Dan Biggar, while wingers Eli Walker and Richard Fussell come into the team to replace Hanno Dirksen and Aisea Natoga.

There are two changes in the forwards as Duncan Jones starts at prop in the place of Marc Thomas and hooker Sam Parry comes in for Scott Baldwin.

Newport Gwent Dragons Director of Rugby Lyn Jones has made two changes to the Dragons side that narrowly lost to Cardiff Blues last weekend.

The backs have a settled look and feel with Tom Prydie in a dangerous back three alongside wingers Matthew Pewtner and Hallam Amos. The young centre pairing of Tyler Morgan and Jack Dixon also keep their places in the starting XV after impressing recently.

One change has been made in the half-backs as Jason Tovey is joined by scrum half Jonathan Evans, who is returning from injury.

In the pack the front row is unchanged while the second row also remains the same with lock Andrew Coombs and skipper Rynard Landman taking up their places after stand out performances from the duo against Cardiff Blues last week.

The back row has one change made to it as Lewis Evans joins Nic Cudd and Taulupe Faletau.

The replacements bench has six changes with Rhys Buckley returning from injury to join Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, James Thomas, Richie Rees and Geraint Rhys Jones. They all take their places on the bench with Owen Evans and Dorian Jones, who featured among the replacements last week.

Ospreys: Dan Evans, Richard Fussell, Ashley Beck, Josh Matavesi, Eli Walker, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Duncan Jones, Sam Parry, Dmitri Arhip, James King, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Tyler Ardron.

Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Gareth Thomas, Aaron Jarvis, Rynier Bernardo, Sam Lewis, Martin Roberts, Sam Davies, Hanno Dirksen.

Newport Gwent Dragons: Tom Prydie, Matthew Pewtner, Tyler Morgan, Jack Dixon, Hallam Amos, Jason Tovey, Jonathan Evans; Phil Price, Elliot Dee, Brok Harris, Andrew Coombs, Rynard Landman (captain), Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Owen Evans, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, James Thomas, Richie Rees, Dorian Jones, Geraint Rhys Jones.


Scarlets take on Glasgow Warriors at the Scotstoun Stadium this evening (7.35pm) looking for their first away victory of the season. 

The West Wales region have made only two changes to the side that was victorious over Ospreys at Parc y Scarlets last weekend with Scarlets Academy and Carmarthen Quins hooker Ryan Elias getting his first Guinness PRO12 start and South African prop Jacobie Adriaanse returning at tighthead.

Scarlets are without six experienced front row players in Phil John, Ken Owens, Emyr Phillips, Kirby Myhill, Samson Lee and Rhodri Jones giving the region’s exciting young talents Ryan Elias, and Myhill’s younger brother Torin, who takes his place as replacement hooker, an opportunity to shine.

Scott Williams leads an unchanged backline with last weekend’s Man of the Match Rhys Priestland taking the helm at outside half after a strong performance against regional rivals Ospreys.

Scarlets: Liam Williams, Hadleigh Parkes, Regan King, Scott Williams (captain), Michael Tagicakibau, Rhys Priestland, Aled Davies; Rob Evans, Ryan Elias, Jacobie Adriaanse, Jake Ball, Johan Snyman, Aaron Shingler, John Barclay, Rob McCusker.

Replacements: Torin Myhill, Wyn Jones, Peter Edwards, George Earle, Lewis Rawlins, Gareth Davies, Steven Shingler, Jordan Williams.