Wales international Will Rowlands captains Dragons RFC as the team kicks-off the new BKT United Rugby Championship against Edinburgh Rugby on Saturday evening (kick-off 7.35pm).
The Men of Gwent today (Friday) name five summer signings in the first line-up of the campaign for the clash at the DAM Health Stadium.
Hooker Bradley Roberts starts up front alongside Lloyd Fairbrother and Aki Seiuli while Sean Lonsdale is named in the back row.
Fly half JJ Hanrahan joins forces with Rhodri Williams at half back while New Zealander Sio Tomkinson starts his first league game for Dragons, partnering Jack Dixon in midfield.
Full back Angus O’Brien makes a second debut for the club after returning to Dragons in the summer from Scarlets.
Rowlands will lead the team from the second row where he plays alongside fellow Wales international Ben Carter.
“We’re keen to play and get started,” said Dean Ryan, Director of Dragons RFC.
“When you change the numbers we have within a squad you’ve got to play to understand where you are, but this week is certainly the most competitive I’ve ever seen a Dragons squad.
“Edinburgh are a big test first up and Mike (Blair) did a great job last year,” he added.
“They were at the top end of the table and caused a lot of problems for teams. I expect them to build on that.
“They are probably one of the most difficult starts we could get because we know how they can play.
“Playing on a plastic surface up there is going to be something that’s going to make the game faster. We’ve got to go up there and get our game right.”
Dragons RFC: Angus O’Brien, Rio Dyer, Sio Tomkinson, Jack Dixon, Jared Rosser, JJ Hanrahan, Rhodri Williams; Aki Seiuli, Bradley Roberts, Lloyd Fairbrother, Ben Carter, Will Rowlands (c), Sean Lonsdale, Ben Fry, Ross Moriarty
Replacements: Elliot Dee, Josh Reynolds, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, Taine Basham, Lewis Jones, Will Reed, Jordan Williams
Unavailable: Harri Keddie (knee), Sam Davies (knee), Leon Brown (shoulder), Rob Evans (jaw), Rhodri Jones (calf), Ollie Griffiths (back), Aneurin Owen (hamstring)