Dyer and Waino return for Boxing day derby

Dyer and Waino return for Boxing day derby

Wales international duo Rio Dyer and Aaron Wainwright return as Dragons RFC face Cardiff Rugby in a huge Welsh derby in the BKT United Rugby Championship on Boxing Day (kick-off 3pm).

Dyer and Wainwright are part of seven changes made by Head Coach Dai Flanagan from the side who were narrowly defeated by Section Paloise last weekend.

Scrum half Rhodri Williams returns - paired with Cai Evans at half back – while Dyer is recalled out wide.

A new-look front row sees props Rhodri Jones and Lloyd Fairbrother pack down either side of hooker Bradley Roberts. Lock George Nott returns to partner Joe Davies in the second row.

Wainwright is named at Number Eight with Taine Basham and Harri Keddie completing the back row.

Prop Leon Brown and back row Dan Lydiate are also back to be named among the replacements.

“We're super excited. Welsh rugby is looking forward to these derbies,” said Flanagan. “A full Cardiff Arms Park is special, like a full Rodney Parade is special, and seeing the ticket sales at the Arms Park and for our home game on New Year’s Day is superb.

“The excitement for rugby is still here and we need to make sure we put on a show.

“We didn't move the ball well against them at home. We need to be ourselves this week, need to be brave, and need to take it to Cardiff.

“It's the best time of year for rugby at Christmas - the only ones who might disagree are the players who’ve got to sacrifice on Christmas Day and leading up to it.

“I loved playing in them, people love being involved in them, and we are quite tribal in Wales and these games mean a lot.

“It’s not just the bragging rights, it’s the personal and individual battles, and the ability to walk away with a win is critical.”

Dragons RFC: Jordan Williams, Rio Dyer, Steff Hughes (c), Aneurin Owen, Ashton Hewitt, Cai Evans, Rhodri Williams; Rhodri Jones, Bradley Roberts, Lloyd Fairbrother, Joe Davies, George Nott, Harri Keddie, Taine Basham, Aaron Wainwright

Replacements: James Benjamin, Aki Seiuli, Leon Brown, Sean Lonsdale, Dan Lydiate, Dane Blacker, Will Reed, Jared Rosser

Unavailable (11): Gonzalo Bertranou (knee), Ben Carter (hamstring), Elliot Dee (ribs), Jack Dixon (knock), Ollie Griffiths (pec), Angus O’Brien (arm), Sio Tomkinson (neck), Josh Reynolds (pec), David Richards (back), Matthew Screech (knock), Joe Westwood (leg)

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