Robert Sidoli to skipper Dragons against Blues

Free Press Series: SKIPPER: Dragons lock Robert Sidoli, seen here tackling Keith Earls with Nic Cudd, takes over the captain's duties against the Blues in the absence of the injured Andrew Coombs SKIPPER: Dragons lock Robert Sidoli, seen here tackling Keith Earls with Nic Cudd, takes over the captain's duties against the Blues in the absence of the injured Andrew Coombs

DRAGONS second row Rob Sidoli will take on the role of skipper for the sixth time this season as Welsh international Andrew Coombs is out of team to face the Cardiff Blues today with a knee injury.

Sidoli has won his last three encounters as captain and will be looking for another victory as the Dragons look to do the double over their arch rivals following Boxing Day's superb 22-16 triumph in front of a bumper crowd at Rodney Parade.

Sidoli will stand alongside three other changes to the starting XV from that win.

Fullback Dan Evans retains his place in the back five alongside winger Will Harries and Matthew Pewtner is on the wing as Hallam Amos is out of selection after sustaining a foot injury last week. The centre paring of Pat Leach and Ashley Smith stays as well as Jason Tovey and Wayne Evans who get the nod to remain in their half back positions.

Prop Owen Evans and hooker T Rhys Thomas keep their positions from last week, but are joined in the front row by Dan Way. Sidoli and ex Cardiff Blues player Matthew Screech have been called up into the second row and the back row takes on the familiar form of Netani Talei, Lewis Evans and last week's man of the match Toby Faletau.

There has only been one change to the bench with lock Adam Jones stepping in at number 19. Sam Parry, Aaron Coundley, Francisco Chaparro, Nic Cudd, Richie Rees, Steffan Jones and Ross Wardle all remain in the same positions.

Dragons Team to face Cardiff Blues:

Daniel Evans, Will Harries, Pat Leach, Ashley Smith, Matthew Pewtner, Jason Tovey, Wayne Evans; Owen Evans, T.Rhys Thomas, Dan Way, Matthew Screech, Rob Sidoli (c), Netani Talei, Lewis Evans, Toby Faletau.

Replacements

Sam Parry, Aaron Coundley, Francisco Chaparro, Adam Jones, Nic Cudd, Richie Rees, Steffan Jones, Ross Wardle.

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