Bath v Newport-Gwent Dragons - LV= Cup match preview

Last updated: 9th November 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Bath v Newport-Gwent Dragons - LV= Cup match preview

Kane Palma-Newport: Believes Bath's youngsters will be eager to impress in the starting XV

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Bath and the Newport-Gwent Dragons have rung the changes for Saturday's LV= Cup clash at the Recreation Ground.

Aviva Premiership club Bath have so far won half of their eight league games this season after suffering a 16-9 loss to London Welsh on Sunday.

The Dragons, however, have endured a season of struggle in the RaboDirect PRO12 - the province have triumphed in just two of their eight league fixtures to date.

Bath have given starts to 18-year-old full-back Hallam Amos, 17-year-old centre Jack Dixon and 19-year-old number eight Ieuan Jones, along with 21-year-old Bedwas winger Ross Wardle.

The Dragons have been boosted by the return from injury of scrum-half Wayne Evans (back) while Tom Brown has recovered from a knee problem.

The region will be without in-form number eight Tom Brown (knee), lock Rob Sidoli (head), flanker Lewis Evans (head) and prop Phil Price (knee) after they were injured in Glasgow.

Bath: 15 Ollie Devoto, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Matt Banahan, 11 Semesa Rokoduguni, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Mark McMillan, 1 Charlie Beech, 2 Brett Sharman, 3 Anthony Perenise, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 5 Will Spencer, 6 Josh Ovens, 7 Guy Mercer, 8 Simon Taylor.

Replacements: 16 Will Tanner, 17 Ken Dowding, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Ryan Caldwell, 20 Will Skuse, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Luke Adamson, 23 Richard Lane

Newport 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Will Harries, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Ross Wardle, 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Liam Davies; 1 Owen Evans, 2 Hugh Gustafson, 3 Nathan Buck, 4 Adam Jones, 5 Ian Nimmo, 6 Jevon Groves (c), 7 Nic Cudd, 8 Ieuan Jones.

Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Nathan Williams, 18 Tim Ryan, 19 Josh Tyler, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Wayne Evans, 22 Ashley Smith, 23 Dan Evans.

What they said...

Dragons director of rugby Rob Beale

"Historically the way we have always viewed the LV= Cup is that we have used it as a way to blood in exciting new talent," said Beale. "But we need to start building some momentum. Our RaboDirect form and our Amlin form has been poor.

"It is an opportunity to start with a clean slate again so we will be looking to get some confidence from this competition and start putting in the performances and also getting the results we so desperately need.

"I think it is down to a mixture of a few things. We knew at the start of the season that we had assembled a squad of very young players that perhaps didn't have that experience at top level. We know that and we were quite comfortable with that.

"At the moment our confidence is lacking but we are really working hard as a group and the players are as well. We have got to get on with it. We are trying to play a style of rugby that we can and one that produces results."

Bath prop Kane Palma-Newport

"A lot of us young guys are frustrated - we haven't played too much recently, but we've got no better chance than to shine at home against Newport," said Palma-Newport in the Wiltshire Times.

"When you make a name for yourself as youngsters, it's tough when coaches leave and new coaches come in. A lot of us worked really hard last year. It doesn't get written off, but you have to start again. You're facing a lot of experience.

"It's a vicious circle because you have got no experience because you haven't played, but you can't get that without playing so it's tough. But it's a chance for guys to put their hands up. People step up and say 'yes, I'm ready to play' and a lot of the older guys are rested."

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