Steffan Jones gets his chance
5:44pm Friday 25th January 2013 in Sport
STEFFAN Jones will try to show that he is the man that deserves to be Newport Gwent Dragons’ first choice fly-half when he starts against the Ospreys in the LV= Cup tomorrow evening.
The number 10 jersey has been a problem spot all season for the Rodney Parade region with Jones, Lewis Robling and Dan Evans failing to grasp their opportunities.
But 22-year-old Jones, who has been in and out of the side, can make a statement ahead of the return of the RaboDirect Pro12 by pulling the strings and kicking his points against the Ospreys.
The Dragons give starts to three members of the Wales Under-20s squad – Hallam Amos at full-back, Jack Dixon at inside centre and Ieuan Jones at number eight – while Matthew Pewtner, back from shoulder and hamstring injuries, makes his first appearance of the season on the wing.
Adam Jones and Rob Sidoli form an experienced second row partnership while captain Lewis Evans and Nic Cudd will be charged with continuing their fine form at the breakdown from the back row.
Loosehead Aaron Coundley is set to make his return from the bicep injury he suffered against Wasps last October. He is on the bench alongside Newport scrum-half Rhys Downes.
The Ospreys head east with a very inexperienced squad that features six debutants.
They are skippered by Wales scrum-half Rhys Webb and field former Newport hooker Arthur Ellis in the back row, where he is joined by ex-Pontypool number eight Morgan Allen and Wales back row forward Jonathan Thomas.
The Dragons need a miracle to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament but the Ospreys would stay in the mix with victory.
Dragons: H Amos, M Pewtner, A Hughes, J Dixon, M Poole, S Jones, J Evans, N Williams, S Parry, D Way, A Jones, R Sidoli, L Evans (captain), N Cudd, I Jones. Replacements: H Gustafson, A Coundley, T Ryan, I Nimmo, J Groves, R Downes, D Evans, P Leach.
Ospreys: J Murphy, T Grabham, J Spratt, B John, D Howells, M Morgan, R Webb (captain), M Thomas, M Dwyer, D Suter, S Williams, R Hughes, J Thomas, A Ellis, M Allen. Replacements: D Arhip, N Smith, C Johnstone, D Baker, R Dudley-Jones, T Habberfield, S Davies, N Edwards.