RaboDirect PRO12 match preview: Dragons v Scarlets
Last Updated: 30/03/13 2:39pm
Newport Gwent Dragons have made wholesale changes to their side ahead of Saturday's encounter with Scarlets at the Millennium Stadium.
Welsh team officials have championed this weekend's RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures with two derbies on offer.
First up the Dragons take on Scarlets, before Cardiff Blues face the Ospreys in a double-header at the national stadium.
Wales internationals Toby Faletau and Dan Lydiate are named in the Dragons back row alongside Nic Cudd who retains his place at openside flanker.
But they are without loosehead prop Phil Price, who will undergo knee surgery next week, although Aaron Coundley, Hugh Gustafson and Dan Way all return to the front row.
Following a successful Six Nations campaign with Wales Andrew Coombs leads the Dragons out as they make their first appearance at the national stadium.
Meanwhile, the Scarlets welcome their Wales international contingent back to the starting line-up as coach Simon Easterby seeks a third successive victory.
Centres Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams return to the side with Gareth Maule dropping to the bench and Adam Warren left out of the squad.
On the wings George North and Liam Williams get the nod leaving Andy Fenby out of side while Matthew Rees starts at hooker.
Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Will Harries, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Ross Wardle, 10 Dan Evans, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Toby Faletau 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Andrew Coombs (capt), 3 Dan Way, 2 Hugh Gustafson, 1 Aaron Coundley. Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Jevon Groves, 20 Ieuan Jones, 21 Wayne Evans, 22 Steffan Jones, 23 Adam Hughes.
Scarlets: 15 Gareth Owen, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Rob McCusker (capt), 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Johan Synman, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Sione Timani, 20 Josh Turnbull, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Gareth Maule.
What they said...
Scarlets coach Simon Easterby
"The boys have prepared well - it's been an intense training week at Parc y Scarlets with plenty of competition to get into the starting XV which has really added an edge," he told the club's official website.
Dragons second row Rob Sidoli
"The Millennium Stadium is a special place for both the players and the fans and it's a great concept to have these two derby matches here on the same day the atmosphere will be amazing," he told the club's official website.