14th June 2013, 08:21
MEREDITH AND LUCKWELL GO HEAD-TO-HEAD
DRAGONHEARTS HOOKERS IN PERSONAL BATTLE AS TITANS TAKE ON COUGARS WHILE THE BIG NORTH DERBY SEES WREXHAM AT THE FALCONS
North Wales Conference
Flintshire Falcons v Wrexham Bradley Raiders (at Deeside Leisure Centre. kick-off: 2pm)
South Wales Conference
Newport Titans v Valley Cougars (at Newport Saracens RFC. Kick-off: 2pm)
WALES Dragonhearts internationals Rhys Meredith and Martin Luckwell will be going head-to-head at Newport Saracens RFC on Saturday when the Titans take on Valley Cougars in the South Wales Conference.
Both hookers have been selected for the Home Nations Test matches against England, Scotland and Ireland and Cougars assistant coach Paul Emmanuelli thinks it will be a key battleground for the match.
The Titans, who will include the Coast v Country Man of the Match Meredith in their side, want to bounce back from defeat by Cardiff Demons last week.
And coach Rob Dodgson said it will be a platform to prove a point to the Dragonhearts selectors that some Titans players deserved inclusion in the squad.
Dodgson said: “We were poor last week. Cardiff were ok and they did the basics well. We have been trying to get three in the tackle during matches but everytime we had a play the ball it was slow and they were quick.
“We know how good Rhys is and we expect big things along with Rhys Hendley and Dwayne Bailey. We hope they can make the selectors change their minds on the weekend.
“We have got a couple of boys out through injuries but that is part and parcel of the summer game. We can move players into the squad so we haven't got seven or eight unavailable.
“They are a good side (Cougars) and they are always going to be there or thereabouts. We were winning last year with ten minutes to go and blew it.”
Emmanuelli, who is assistant Dragonhearts coach to head coach Mike Grady, added: “We have got good numbers turning up at training now so it is getting extremely difficult to pick a squad.
“I don't know what to think of them (Titans) because they have been scoring a lot of tries and goood players.
“Dwyne Bailey was unlucky to miss out on Wales as was Rhys Hendley. We know it will be a tough day. I have nine unavailable as well so we are struggling with injuries and there is only myself and Daniel Davies from last week's game against the Borderer Boars.
“We want to put a marker down against Newport because we have them home and away in the next fortnight. We are under no illusions about how difficult they will be.
“Of course, the biggest thing will be the big battle between Martin Luckwell and Rhys Meredith who are selected for the Dragonhearts and there should be quite a few other key battles.”
The Cougars also welcome back Gareth Way and Kevin James to the squad.
Up in North Wales, Flintshire Falcons have the derby against Wrexham Bradley Raiders to look forward to at Deeside Leisure Centre.
But, despite the Raiders losing in an extraordinary match to Conwy Celts by 70-52 last week, they will be a tough challenge for the Falcons, who have not played for a few weeks.