Sunday 21 January 2018

McGrath to master Dragons in must win match

The Dragons will dare to go where they have never gone before in completing the double over Leinster at Rodney Parade in the PRO12 League on Sunday (kick-off 4.15pm, S4C).

It isn't near as fanciful as it may have sounded at the turn of the year.

The Welsh club came to The RDS in mid-February and administered a shocking reality check to the champions.

The difference that night for the Dragons was the 70th minute penalty registered by Tom Prydie to complete the 16-14 fully-merited victory.

Ireland loose-head Jack McGrath means to make amends as he considers a return to action.

"It's coming to the point where I probably need game time after benching against Scotland and against Bath," he said.

"There is only so much you can do in the gym. You need to be playing rugby."

Success brings confidence. It also can bring a share of problems.

The Dragons have been placed in the awkward position of having Leinster at home on Sunday and Edinburgh away in the Challenge Cup semi-final next Friday night.

The simple logistics suggest the Dragons will go with a weakened selection in order that they are in the best possible shape for a European semi-final.

"You can go over there thinking they're maybe going to have a weakened team, but this is a must-win game for them as much as for us."

Leinster coach Matt O'Connor confirmed that 27 players have signed new IRFU contracts to continue playing with the province for 2015/16 and beyond, while a further four players have been added to the Leinster squad.

While the arrival of Jonathan Sexton had already been announced, O'Connor confirmed that Connacht's Mick Kearney would be joining the province as would Royce Burke-Flynn and Ian Hirst.

The Dragons v Leinster

Promoted articles

Entertainment News