NEWPORT Gwent Dragons will be captained by back row forward Lewis Evans in tomorrow’s pre-season friendly against Lydney (kick-off 3pm), writes Chris Kirwan.
The 27-year-old, who was voted as the region’s player of 2013/14 by Argus readers, is one of a handful of seasoned campaigners in a youthful team.
Former Wales scrum-half Richie Rees will be charged with managing the game for the visitors at Regentsholme while the front row of Owen Evans, Rhys Buckley and David Young boasts plenty of experience.
Cornish centre Andrew Coad, who played for Bodmin last season, starts in midfield after joining the Dragons academy and will be partnered by 17-year-old Barney Nightingale, who impressed off the bench in last Sunday’s win against Bristol.
Lyn Jones had been down to his last two senior centres in Pat Leach and Jack Dixon so the presence of Tyler Morgan on the bench is a welcome one.
The 18-year-old suffered a foot injury while starring for Wales Under-20s at the Junior World Championship.
The squad will be looking to impress before the big guns return for Friday’s final pre-season friendly against Northampton at Ebbw Vale’s Eugene Cross Park (kick-off 7.30pm).
Dragons: Geraint Rhys Jones, Matthew Pewtner, Barney Nightingale, Andrew Coad, George Gasson, Dorian Jones, Richie Rees; Owen Evans, Rhys Buckley, Dave Young, Scott Andrews, Cory Hill, James Thomas, Scott Matthews, Lewis Evans (captain). Replacements: Hugh Gustafson, Luke Garrett, Dan Way, Matthew Screech, Ollie Griffiths, Owen Davies, Angus O’Brien, Tyler Morgan.