4th August 2011, 14:56
Wales Dragonhearts vs England Lionhearts Preview
"Bomber" to lead Welsh Amatuers into last battle of campaign.
Dragonhearts coaches Craig Fox and Mike Healy have made seven changes (two
positional) from the side that beat Scotland two weeks ago. Wings Richard Williams
and Grant Epton are both unavailable so Robbie Ford returns to the side along with
Bridgend Blue Bulls speedster Nathan Trowbridge who makes his Dragonhearts
Stand-off Ian Brooks has been forced out with a knee injury so Titans duo Kristian
Hawkes and Rhys Meredith now partner each other at half back with Nathan Hawkins
starting at hooker.
Other changes to the starting line up sees Richard Murphy return at prop to replace
the injured Rhys Miller while Andy Milne gets his first start in the second tow after
impressing from the bench in the first two games.
Amongst the substitutes Matt James will be the first player from the Dyffryn Devils
club ever to win International honours and he cant wait to get on the pitch saying
"I only started playing League this summer so was over the moon to get into the
Dragonhearts squad and I can't believe I'm in the team to play England. But I'm
delighted and hope I can play a big part in helping Wales get the Grand Slam".
Eight of the team are from the Bridgend Blue Bulls while five come from the
Bonymaen Broncos who were only established this year. But three of the most
promising young stars hail from the Newport Titans with Dale Tucker, Rhys Meredith
and Kristian Hawkes (all under 20), and all could have a big future in the 13 man
game. Two years ago a 19 year old Jamie Murphy was named Dragonhearts man of
the match against England and less than six months later was signing a Super League
contract, could these guys follow the same route?
Ahead of the game Dragonhearts captain Gareth "Bomber" Howells said "captaining the
Dragonhearts has been one of the biggest highlights in my Rugby career and I'm
looking forward to playing England. They beat us last year with the final play of the
ball in a very high scoring game, I hope this weekends match can be just as crowd
pleasing but obviously with a different result".
Team Manager Simon Green added "its been great working with these lads this
summer and the team has by far exceeded most peoples expectations. Many thought
the side would struggle after losing so many to the promoted Valley Cougars team
but all the new guys, including Bulls Lloyd Ryland and Andy Milne and the lads from
Bonymaen have been excellent. But we need to be switched on from the start, we
started poorly against Scotland three weeks ago, if we do that against England we
will be punished".
The match kicks off at 1pm and is followed by the Crusaders U18s against
Huddersfield Giants U18s which kicks off at 4pm.
WALES DRAGONHEARTS TEAM:
1. Gareth David (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
2. Nathan Trowbridge (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
3. Lloyd Ryland (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
4. Gareth Howells - capt (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
5. Robbie Ford (Bonymaen Broncos)
6. Kristian Hawkes (Newport Titans)
7. Rhys Meredith (Newport Titans)
8. Charles Stevenson (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
9. Nathan Hawkins (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
10. Richard Murphy (Bonymaen Broncos)
11. Richard Brooks (Bonymaen Broncos)
12. Andy Milne (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
13. Dale Tucker (Newport Titans)
Craig Fox (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
Matthew James (Dyffryn Devils)
Neil White (Bonymaen Broncos)
Nick Clancy (Bonymaen Broncos)
Jamie Williams (Torfaen Tigers)