31/10/2019 – Guinness PRO14 Communications – Dragons team to face Leinster Rugby

Centre Connor Edwards is called up to face the champions as Dragons travel to the RDS Arena to tackle Leinster Rugby in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday evening (kick-off 7.35pm).

Highly-rated Dragons Academy product Edwards will make his first senior league appearance since April 2018.

Edwards, 22, is one of only two changes made to the starting line-up by boss Dean Ryan from the side that defeated Glasgow Warriors last weekend at Rodney Parade.

Fit-again back row forward Harri Keddie also returns in Dublin to wear the six shirt.

A positional change in the back row sees Ollie Griffiths move to seven with Taine Basham, who has scored tries in three successive league games, named at Number Eight.

Hooker Ellis Shipp returns among the replacements.

Ryan said: “It will be a big test to see if we can operate in a game where some elements will be out of our control. I’m looking forward to seeing how we react.

“I want to see us be more robust and see if we can get a quality side under pressure.

“We saw against Zebre that Leinster didn’t have it all their own way. We need to see if we can do a little bit of the same.

“We’ve got to be competitive,” he added. “If we sit back and let them dictate the pace of the game, with the quality of the players they have, you just end up being a sightseer. We can’t afford to do that.

“We have got to get in there, be challenging around the breakdown and try and create some difficulties for them. Otherwise it will become a bit of a sideshow that you can’t quite get yourself into. We’ve got to chance our arm.”

Dragons (v Leinster Rugby): Jordan Williams, Owen Jenkins, Adam Warren, Connor Edwards, Ashton Hewitt, Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams (c); Brok Harris, Richard Hibbard, Leon Brown, Joe Davies, Matthew Screech, Harri Keddie, Ollie Griffiths, Taine Basham

Replacements: Ellis Shipp, Josh Reynolds, Lloyd Fairbrother, Max Williams, Huw Taylor, Luke Baldwin, Arwel Robson, Tyler Morgan