Dragons winger Rio Dyer will make his GUINNESS PRO14 debut this weekend as the Men of Gwent take on Benetton Rugby.
The 18-year-old, who earned his first Wales U20s International cap last weekend, will make his PRO14 bow in front of a home crowd on Sunday 18th February, KO 15:30.
The speedster, who made his Dragons bow against Saracens in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, is joined in the back three by last weekend’s man of the match Hallam Amos and fellow wing Jared Rosser. As versatile back Adam Warren moves into the centre to partner Jack Dixon, whilst the half-backs remain unchanged.
Sam Hobbs, Liam Belcher and Lloyd Fairbrother make up the back row, whilst there are also no changes to the second row as Joe Davies and Rynard Landman retain their positions. Skipper Harri Keddie moves from number 8 to flanker as Dragons stalwart Lewis Evans makes his comeback from injury at number 8, and Aaron Wainwright joins them in the back row.
The replacements bench sees Arwel Robson named as he looks to make an impact off the bench following his recovery from an ankle injury.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s match against Benetton, Dragons Head Coach Bernard Jackman commented; “Benetton will come over with plenty of confidence behind them having won 7 of their fourteen matches so far and having put in some excellent displays in their European Rugby Champions Cup group.
“Traditionally it was more advantageous to play the Italian and Scottish teams during the international windows but we are now seeing the increased strength in depth in both countries playing resources and we know that we will have to put in our strongest performance of the season to get the win.”
Dragons team to face Benetton Rugby
15 Hallam Amos, 14 Rio Dyer, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Jared Rosser, 10 Zane Kirchner, 9 Dan Babos; 1 Sam Hobbs, 2 Liam Belcher, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 4 Joe Davies, 5 Rynard Landman, 6 Harri Keddie ©, 7 Aaron Wainwright, 8 Lewis Evans.
Replacements; Ellis Shipp, Gerard Ellis, Leon Brown, Henri Williams, Lennon Greggains, Sarel Pretorius, Arwel Robson, Connor Edwards.