NG Dragons v Ulster (Fri)

Magners League - NG Dragons v Ulster

Venue:
Rodney Parade
Date:
Friday, 6 May
Kick-off:
1905 BST
Coverage:
Live on BBC red button, BBC Sport website and S4C, updates on BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru

Props Tom Court and Declan Fitzpatrick return to the Ulster side for the Magners League game against the Dragons at Rodney Parade.

Both players were ruled out of the defeat away to Leinster and the home victory over Connacht but have now recovered and are named in the team.

Willie Faloon is out after suffering a shoulder injury in training.

His absence sees Robbie Diack come in at number eight, with Pedrie Wannenburg and Chris Henry named as the flankers.

Wannenburg plays at blinside flanker while Henry moves to the openside.

TJ Anderson, who will join Connacht in the summer, is given a position on the bench as back row cover.

Paddy McAllister and Jerry Cronin drop to the replacements' bench.

The backline is unchanged from the win over Connacht at Ravenhill two weeks ago, with Darren Cave and Nevin Spence continuing their centre partnership.

Ireland internationals Stephen Ferris (knee), Paddy Wallace (thumb) and Andrew Trimble (thumb) remain unavailable for selection due to injury, as does BJ Botha (knee).

Ulster go into the game against the in-form Dragons needing a single point to be certain of making the semi-finals.

The Irish province last won at Rodney Parade in September 2006.

Ulster defeated the Dragons 25-23 at Ravenhill thanks to a last-gasp penalty by scrum-half Ruan Pienaar.

Ireland flanker Ferris remains hopeful that he may play a part in a potential Magners League semi-final play-off.

Dragons will rest centre Ashley Smith for their final Magners League match of the season.

Smith has been suffering with a shoulder injury during recent weeks and Pat Leach will deputise.

Darren Edwards' side can have a big say as to who makes the play-offs with the Ospreys and Blues in contention.

"I think we've got to concentrate on ourselves," said Edwards. "That's the most important thing here."

The Dragons have won their last three matches at Rodney Parade including wins over Welsh rivals the Ospreys and Cardiff Blues.

And Edwards, who was confirmed as Dragons head coach last month, has spoken of the feel-good factor at Rodney Parade.

"Our last month playing here has been outstanding [and] I think we've created a great environment on the field and off the field," added Edwards. "It's good to see so many people smiling.

"It's really good that we've got Ulster coming here looking for a play-off spot and we're trying to carry on what we've been doing over the last couple of weeks.

"There will be two teams trying to make a really good game of it."

Back-row Lewis Evans will also miss out against Ulster but full-back Steffan Jones retains his place having made his senior debut against the Blues.

And Edwards has hailed Jones' performance during the 28-15 win last Friday as "outstanding."

"We've blooded quite a few young players this year and Steffan's just the latest to step up and he certainly did that," said Edwards.

"What we're trying to breed in these players [is that] they actually try and make a difference on the field.

"And Steffan's composure and attitude in trying to make a difference for us last Friday was brilliant."

Newport Gwent Dragons have won three of their last four games, but have lost their last three encounters with Irish opponents.

NG Dragons: S Jones, A Hughes, T Riley, P Leach, A Brew, J Tovey, W Evans; P Price, L Burns, D Way, L Charteris, A Jones, D Lydiate, G Thomas, T Faletau.

Replacements: T Willis, H Gustafson, B Castle, A Coombs, J Bearman, M Watkins, J Evans, M Jones.

Ulster: A D'Arcy; C Gilroy, D Cave, N Spence, S Danielli; I Humphreys, R Pienaar; T Court, R Best (c), D Fitzpatrick; J Muller, D Tuohy; P Wannenburg, C Henry, R Diack.

Replacements: A Kyriacou, P McAllister, J Cronin, T Barker, T Anderson, P Marshall, I Whitten, C Gaston.

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