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Dragons v Edinburgh: Teams
At Rodney Parade, Friday September 28, kick-off 7pm
With Newport Gwent Dragons unbeaten in their last three games against Scottish opponents, they will be confident heading into their RaboDirect PRO12 clash against Edinburgh.
However, both teams enter the fixture on the back of defeats, with the Dragons having been thumped 33-13 by Munster and Leinster defeating Edinburgh 22-16 last weekend.
On Friday, Dragons back row star Lewis Evans is set to lead the Men of Gwent out against Edinburgh. Dan Lydiate is set to join him in the back row alongside Toby Faletau who will start at Number 8 after being passed as fit.
Jonathan Evans will continue on as scrum half after impressing in previous games for the Dragons.
The starting line-up will feature Adam Hughes on the wing along with the same front row five, who faced Munster at Thomond Park.
Meanwhile, after their stumble at Leinster on Saturday, which ended a two game winning run, Edinburgh are ready to prove their worth against the Welsh side.
With the Scotsmen's most recent victory at Rodney Parade as far back as May 2006, head coach Michael Bradley has challenged his team to take another win away from Wales.
The club opened their competitive season with an away win over Cardiff at the re-inauguration of the old Arms Park, before a five-try win over Zebre, the RaboDirect PRO12 new boys.
Ahead of their trip south to face the tenth-placed Welshmen, the bonus points from the losses to Leinster and Munster have kept the club mid table.
They face a tough test on Friday though, regardless of the Dragon's slow start to the season.
Bradley said: "This is a critical match. I've been satisfied with our performances so far this season but we must continue to improve if we are to fulfil our ambitions of making the play-offs, and that means winning away from home.
"There are no easy contests in this division, especially when you're on the road, and Dragons are notoriously difficult to break down.
"Their defensive approach is quick and aggressive and puts a lot of pressure on the opposition, so the fundamentals of our game will have to be very well executed.
"We will have to be sharp and clinical to make the most of any manufactured or opportunistic chances. It will be a very tough game."
There are seven changes to the side that started last week's narrow loss to Leinster at the RDS, with Scotland trio Allan Jacobsenm, Ross Rennie, and top try scorer Tim Visser returning to the front-line.
Matt Scott, Greig Laidlaw and Ross Ford have all been rested for the match, with Bradley calling on quality replacements.
One British Lion comes in for another on the front-row as Andy Titterrell makes his first competitive start at hooker and Ben Atiga, the former All Black centre, returns from a hip strain to start at inside-centre alongside Nick De Luca.
The 20 year-old Harry Leonard has the chance to reinstate his impressive form at stand-off, while lock Robert McAlpine completes the pack alongside Sean Cox, who takes on the captaincy from Laidlaw.
Dragons: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tom Prydie, 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Lewis Evans (c), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Adam Jones, 4 Ian Nimmo, 3 Dan Way, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Phil Price
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Aaron Coundley, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Jevon Groves, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Ashley Smith, 23 Will Harries
Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Tom Brown, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Richie Rees, 1 Allan Jacobsen, 2 Andy Titterrell, 3 Geoff Cross, 4 Robert McAlpine, 5 Sean Cox (c), 6 Stuart McInally, 7 Ross Rennie, 8 Netani Talei
Replacements: 16 Alun Walker, 17 John Yapp, 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Dimitri Basilaia, 20 Roddy Grant, 21 Chris Leck, 22 John Houston, 23 Dougie Fife
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:00||Zebre vs Treviso|
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Dragons vs Cardiff Blues|
|17:00||Connacht vs Munster|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Zebre|
|14:40||Leinster vs Ulster|
|17:05||Scarlets vs Ospreys|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:35||Connacht vs Edinburgh|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:40||Cardiff Blues vs Leinster|
|15:00||Zebre vs Munster|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Ulster|
|16:00||Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Connacht|
|TBC||Zebre vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Ulster vs Benetton Treviso|
|Saturday 21st February|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ulster|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Connacht|
|TBC||Leinster vs Zebre|
|14:40||Scarlets vs Munster|
|17:15||Glasgow vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Ospreys 17 - 15 Scarlets|
|Glasgow Warriors 16 - 6 Edinburgh|
|Friday 26th December|
|Ulster 13 - 10 Connacht|
|Munster 28 - 13 Leinster|
|Cardiff Blues 17 - 23 Dragons|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Dragons 25 - 11 Zebre|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Ospreys 31 - 20 Ulster|
|Glasgow Warriors 21 - 18 Munster|
|Friday 19th December|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 9 Scarlets|
|Edinburgh 48 - 0 Treviso|
|Leinster 21 - 11 Connacht|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Glasgow Warriors 19 - 15 Dragons|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Connacht 14 - 8 Scarlets|
|Leinster 18 - 12 Ospreys|
|Zebre 18 - 10 Edinburgh|
|Friday 28th November|
|Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Treviso|
|Munster 21 - 20 Ulster|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Treviso 24 - 24 Leinster|
|Friday 21st November|
|Ulster 25 - 16 Ospreys|
|Connacht 43 - 3 Zebre|
|Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow Warriors|
|Dragons 12 - 38 Munster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com