Dragons v Wasps: Teams
Newport are refusing to take London Wasps for granted despite the Heineken Cup champions making a stuttering start to the season.
Last Updated: 26/10/07 1:11pm
Newport Gwent Dragons are refusing to take London Wasps for granted despite the Heineken Cup champions making a stuttering start to the season.
The Wasps have won just one match this season in the Premiership - but the Dragons remain wary of getting stung in the EDF Energy Cup.
And flanker Richard Parks admitted: "As a squad we have been pleased with our recent performances in the Magners League which has prepared us for the intensity of the cup competitions we have coming up.
"We are expecting a physical onslaught from Wasps on Saturday and the game will be a real battle up front.
"They may not have started their season well but they have that knack of doing well in Cup competitions and we will have to play to our strengths if we are to start with a win."
Head coach Paul Turner added: "Wasps have a great history long before rugby came of age but during the professional era have been right up amongst the best.
"They have always been in and around the top of the Zurich and Guinness Premiership and they won the Shield in 2002 and then Heineken Cup success followed the next season and they are now rightly current Heineken Cup holders. Their success has not come overnight but they have worked at it."
Turner has included Martyn Thomas at full-back for the injured Kevin Morgan, while a reshuffle of the forwards sees Dan Lydiate coming in on the flank, Colin Charvis moved to No.8 and Michael Owen replacing Andrew Hall in the second row.
Wasps - who have won just once so far this season - welcome back Tom Rees from international duty.
The England international slots straight into the back row in place of Rob Webber, who drops to the bench.
Rees' inclusion is the only change from the team that lost narrowly to Harlequins in the Guinness Premiership last weekend.
Director of rugby Ian McGeechan is well aware that the Dragons will be a tough test, particularly in front of their own fans.
"It's great to have Tom Rees back out on the domestic stage and we look forward to facing our opposition, Newport Gwent Dragons who are going well in the Magners League," he said.
"Playing in Wales is always a challenge and we know that we will have to be on top of our game to come away with a win."
Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Gareth Wyatt,13 Rhodri Gomer Davies, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Richard Mustoe, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Wayne Evans, 1 Adam Black, 2 Steve Jones, 3 Rhys Thomas, 4 Luke Charteris, 5 Michael Owen, 6 Dan Lydiate, 7 Richard Parks, 8 Colin Charvis (c).
Replacements: 16 Ben Daly, 17 Hugh Gustafson, 18 Andrew Hall, 19 Jamie Ringer, 20 Paul Emerick, 21 Aled Thomas, 22 Andrew Williams.
London Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 David Doherty, 13 Fraser Waters, 12 Danny Cipriani, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Riki Flutey, 9 Eoin Reddan (capt); 1 Tim Payne, 2 Joe Ward, 3 Nick Adams, 4 George Skivington, 5 Richard Birkett, 6 John Hart, 7 Tom Rees 8 James Haskell
Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Michael Holford, 18 Dan Leo, 19 Hugo Ellis, 20 Simon Amor, 21 Dave Walder, 22 Rob Hoadley