“The Vodacom Bulls Are Made Of Tough Stuff” – Dragons RFC Head Coach Dai Flanagan


Dragons RFC Head coach Dai Flanagan named his line-up to host the Vodacom Bulls on Friday afternoon in Newport at 21h35 (SA Time).

Dai Flanagan said: “We’re really looking forward to the challenge of facing the Bulls on home soil.

“Their performances have been good in recent weeks; they will just be disappointed with the outcome of games. They are coming here fully loaded because they need results like we need results.

“They have such talent in their squad. They are physical, they won’t take a step back, so we must match that. You look at their back three too, they can light up if we are not on our game and we don’t manage the game.

“They are made of tough stuff. We know what's coming in and we’ve got to be prepared.

“It's home, it's Friday night in Newport and it’s Rodney Parade. It’s a big test and one we need to meet head-on.”

Dynamic back row Ollie Griffiths makes his first appearance of the season. Griffiths is named at openside flanker and is one of five changes made by the Men of Gwent as they kick off the home campaign for 2023 in Newport. The other change to the pack is a call-up for Sean Lonsdale, who operates at blindside.

Playmaker Sam Davies is recalled to the starting line-up and combines with Lewis Jones at half-back. Scrum-half Jones will make his 100th appearance in the URC in the fixture. Centre Max Clark comes into the team, with Sio Tomkinson moving to the wing, while the final change is a start at full-back for Jordan Williams.

Argentina international scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou returns among the replacements with prop Lloyd Fairbrother, lock Huw Taylor and fly-half, Will Reed.

Dragons RFC: 15. Jordan Williams, 14. Rio Dyer, 13. Steff Hughes (c), 12. Max Clark, 11. Sio Tomkinson, 10. Sam Davies, 9. Lewis Jones, 8. Aki Seiuli, 7. Ross Moriarty, 6. Ollie Griffiths, 5. Sean Lonsdale, 4. George Nott, 3. Joe Davies, 2. Chris Coleman, 1. Bradley Roberts. Replacements: 16. Brodie Coghlan, 17. Rob Evans, 18. Lloyd Fairbrother, 19. Huw Taylor, 20.Taine Basham, 21. Ben Fry, 22. Gonzalo Bertranou, 23. Will Reed.