Dee day for Dragons’ Euro bid

Western Mail - - SPORT -

EL­LIOT Dee skip­pers the Dragons as they launch their bid for glory in the Euro­pean Chal­lenge Cup against Timisoara Sara­cens in Ro­ma­nia to­day (12.30pm).

The hooker, who im­pressed for Wales dur­ing sum­mer as­sign­ments with South Africa and Ar­gentina, takes over from Cory Hill.

Head coach Bernard Jack­man has made six changes to the side beaten 23-15 by Cardiff Blues in last week­end’s big east Wales Guin­ness PRO14 derby.

For­mer South Africa full-back Zane Kirch­ner, back from a loan spell at Bris­tol Bears, comes into the back-line along with cen­tre Tyler Mor­gan and scrum-half Tavis Knoyle.

Cen­tre Adam War­ren, who had a first-half stormer while in mid­field against the Blues, moves to the wing with Jared Rosser ruled out by con­cus­sion.

Changes in the pack see Matthew Screech and Lewis Evans, nor­mally a back-rower, sum­moned at lock with Samoa in­ter­na­tional Bran­don Nansen miss­ing the Euro trip through ill­ness.

And the re­li­able Nic Cudd is named at open­side flanker with Wales con­tender Ol­lie Grif­fiths mov­ing across the back-row to blind­side flanker in place of the coun­try’s new­est cap, Aaron Wain­wright.

“The footage we have seen of them shows they are dom­i­nat­ing their do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tion,” said for­mer Ire­land hooker Jack­man of Timisoara.

“We saw a big im­prove­ment in our at­tack against Cardiff Blues and we want to be am­bi­tious and go af­ter the scores early, get into our shape and play.

“We re­spect them mas­sively and we know it will be dif­fi­cult, but we will go high tempo for the full game.

“We are in a tough group, along­side Northamp­ton Saints and Cler­mont, so we need to get off to a good start in Ro­ma­nia.”

Zane Kirch­ner, Dafydd How­ells, Tyler Mor­gan, Jar­ryd Sage, Adam War­ren, Josh Lewis, Tavis Knoyle; Brok Har­ris, El­liot Dee (capt), Leon Brown, Matthew Screech, Lewis Evans, Ol­lie Grif­fiths, Nic Cudd, Ross Mo­ri­arty.

Rhys Lawrence, Aaron Jarvis, Lewis Fair­brother, Cory Hill, Huw Tay­lor, Rho­dri Davies, Jor­dan Wil­liams, Will Tal­bot-Davies.

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