Dyer hits half century in European opener

Dyer hits half century in European opener

Wales international wing Rio Dyer will make his 50th appearance for Dragons RFC when they tackle Oyonnax Rugby in Round One of the EPCR Challenge Cup at Rodney Parade on Saturday (kick-off 8pm).

Dyer clocks up the milestone as Head Coach Dai Flanagan makes a total of four changes to his starting line-up.

Wales international Elliot Dee, who missed the recent tour to South Africa but is now back to full fitness, returns up front for the Men of Gwent as the club’s switches focus to European competition.

Lock Joe Davies makes his second start of the season, paired with George Nott in the second row, while Wales Under-20s captain Ryan Woodman is named at six.

The final change to the starting side is a recall for centre Sio Tomkinson.

Wales Under-20s centre Harri Ackerman could make his senior debut for Dragons RFC after being named among the replacements.

Hooker Brodie Coghlan, prop Chris Coleman and back row George Young are also named on the bench.

“We’re looking forward to Europe. It gives us the opportunity to reset, it’s a clean slate, and we have got to express ourselves,” said Flanagan.

“We need to target our home games, going to places like Pau will be difficult, but why can’t we go there and take the challenge head-on.

“It’s great to be back home after two weeks away and I’m sure we will get a great support, as we always do at Rodney Parade.

“The French league is a very powerful one and Oyonnax compete week in and week out with some of the biggest teams in the world,” he added.

“We need to make it uncomfortable for them coming to the Dragons and we need to control the narrative of the game.”

Dragons RFC: Jordan Williams, Rio Dyer, Sio Tomkinson, Steff Hughes (c), Ashton Hewitt, Will Reed, Rhodri Williams; Rhodri Jones, Elliot Dee, Lloyd Fairbrother, Joe Davies, George Nott, Ryan Woodman, Harri Keddie, Aaron Wainwright

Replacements: Brodie Coghlan, Aki Seiuli, Chris Coleman, Sean Lonsdale, George Young, Dane Blacker, Harri Ackerman, Corey Baldwin

Unavailable (13): Taine Basham (suspension), Leon Brown (calf), Ben Carter (hamstring), Jack Dixon (knock), Cai Evans (knock), Ollie Griffiths (pec), Dan Lydiate (ribs), Rodrigo Martinez (calf), Angus O’Brien (arm), Josh Reynolds (pec), Jared Rosser (knock), David Richards (back), Joe Westwood (leg)

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