Dragons strengthen pack for Bordeaux-Bègles clash

GRUNT UP FRONT: Former Stade Français prop Francisco Tetaz Chaparro comes in on the tighthead for the Dragons as they take on Bordeaux-Bègles away tomorrow evening

GRUNT UP FRONT: Former Stade Français prop Francisco Tetaz Chaparro comes in on the tighthead for the Dragons as they take on Bordeaux-Bègles away tomorrow evening

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NEWPORT Gwent Dragons make four changes from the starting XV which secured an impressive 40-24 bonus point against Bordeaux-Bègles for their return Amlin Challenge Cup clash.

Ross Wardle replaces rested Wales international Hallam Amos on the wing while there are three changes in the pack which looks to be strengthened for the showdown tomorrow night at the Stade André Moga (kick-off 6.30pm UK time).

The front row sees Owen Evans come in for Hugh Gustafson on the loosehead while powerful Argentine Francisco Tetaz Chaparro, signed for this season from French Top 14 outfit Stade Français, is at tighthead prop for Dan Way.

The other adjustment is in the second row where the experienced evergreen veteran Rob Sidoli, 34, winner of 42 Wales caps, is favoured ahead of Matthew Screech who is among the replacements.

He partners fellow Test player Andrew Coombs, 29, who will look to be only the second Dragons captain to skipper the region to victory in France.

The Gwent region’s bench also contains an grizzled old professional in hooker T Rhys Thomas who looks to play in his first match since injuring his ankle in September’s league victory over the Scarlets.

Bordeaux-Bègles: Joaquim Tuculet; Robert Lilomaiava, Charles Brousse, Thibault Lacroix, Jean-Baptiste Lamotte; Nicolas Sanchez, Manu Saubusse; Laurent DelBoulbes, Clement Maynadier, Silviu Florea, Cameron Treloar, Adam Jaulhac, Gauthier Gibouin (capt), Poutasi Luafutu, Tai Tuifua

Replacements: Benat Auzqui, Jefferson Poirot, Benjamin Sa, Aliki Fakate, Marco Tauleigne, Baptiste Serin, Rafael Carballo, Romain Lonca

Newport Gwent Dragons: Daniel Evans; Matthew Pewtner, Patrick Leach, Ashley Smith, Ross Wardle; Jason Tovey, Wayne Evans; Owen Evans, Sam Parry, Francisco Tetaz Chaparro, Andrew Coombs (capt), Robert Sidoli, Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd, Toby Faletau.

Replacements: T Rhys Thomas, Hugh Gustafson, Nathan Buck, Matthew Screech, Netani Talei, Richie Rees, Steffan Jones, Will Harries.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)

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