Leinster will be hoping to get back to winning ways in the Magners League tonight as they defend their proud home record against the Dragons at Donnybrook.
MAGNERS LEAGUE: Saturday, November 4
LEINSTER v NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS, Donnybrook, 7.30pm (live Setanta Sports)
Team News: Minus their Irish internationals, Leinster have been forced to make seven changes to the side that lost to Edinburgh in Europe last weekend for tonight's league clash with the Dragons.
Australian Christian Warner will make his 50th appearance for the province, in what will be his fourth game of this season's Magners League.
Luke Fitzgerald returns from Ireland squad training to line out in his preferred position of full-back, with Gary Brown and Denis Hickie offering plenty of pace on the flanks. Rob Kearney misses out due to injury.
Up front, Samoan international prop Fosi Pala'amo, who played for Garryowen in the AIB League last season, gains his first start while Owen Finegan and Cameron Jowitt will team up in a new second row partnership.
The back row unit of Stephen Keogh, Keith Gleeson and Jamie Heaslip - the latter two are back from Ireland squad training - is retained. Felipe Contepomi captains the side.
The Dragons, meanwhile, will have a new captain in flanker Jamie Ringer for the trip to Dublin.
Ringer returns from a hamstring injury to lead the region. Gareth Wyatt has also shaken off a rib injury to be included at full-back, while Richard Fussell replaces Aled Brew on the left wing, and Mike Hercus and Alex Walker are to form a new half-back combination for Paul Turner's men.
In the forwards, Kieran Crawford takes over hooking duties from Ben Daly, Andrew Hall partners Peter Sidoli in the second row and there is also a change at blindside flanker with Joe Bearman fit again after a hip injury.
Leinster: Luke Fitzgerald; Gary Brown, Kieran Lewis, Christian Warner, Denis Hickie; Felipe Contepomi (capt), Cillian Willis; Ronan McCormack, Brian Blaney, Fosi Pala'amo, Owen Finegan, Cameron Jowitt, Stephen Keogh, Keith Gleeson, Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: Reggie Corrigan, Harry Vermaas, Adam Byrnes, Niall Ronan, Andrew Dunne, Michael Berne, Ross McCarron.
Dragons: Gareth Wyatt; Nathan Brew, Paul Emerick, Ashley Smith, Richard Fussell; Mike Hercus, Alex Walker; Adam Black, Kieran Crawford, Lee Harrison, Andrew Hall, Peter Sidoli, Joe Bearman, Jamie Ringer (capt), Nic Fitisemanu.
Replacements: Ben Daly, Ian George, Bryn Griffiths, Colin Charvis, Aled Brew, Craig Warlow, James Ireland.
Referee: Graeme Hannah (Scotland)
Player Speak: Cameron Jowitt (Leinster) - "So far this season, I've played half a game against Munster and I picked up an injury away to the Borders, but it was tough going.
"Stephen Keogh has been playing so well (in the back row) and there is competition with the likes of Owen Finegan, Ciaran Potts, Des Dillon and Richie Leyden."
Jamie Ringer (Dragons) - "I'm delighted to be captaining the Dragons and it's a real honour. The game against Leinster will be a big test for us but it is important to show that we're a strong squad even though we are missing players who are on international duty.
"We're expecting a high tempo, all-action match and we're more than capable of matching them."
Match Odds: Paddy Power - To Win: Leinster 1/6, Dragons 7/2; Draw: 25/1
PREVIOUS LEAGUE MEETINGS:
February 2004 - Dragons 35 Leinster 14, Rodney Parade
May 2004 - Leinster 56 Dragons 39, Lansdowne Road
October 2004 - Dragons 34 Leinster 13, Rodney Parade
January 2005 - Leinster 56 Dragons 3, Lansdowne Road
September 2005 - Leinster 33 Dragons 14, Donnybrook
February 2006 - Dragons 31 Leinster 18, Rodney Parade
- Leinster's formidable home form continues - they have now gone almost a year without being defeated in Dublin. The province's last home defeat was 27-13 against Edinburgh in November 2005. They have had ten successive victories in all competitions since then
- The Dragons have won just one of their last four encounters in the Magners League - 20-8 away to the Borders on September 22
- The Dragons have not won in Ireland since their 28-21 victory over Ulster at Ravenhill in the league in October 2004
- The two sides have met on six previous occasions with honours even at three wins apiece. Each match so far has gone the way of the respective home team on the day
- The sides shared out 12 tries when Leinster won a typical end-of-season points fest at Lansdowne Road in May 2004 - they ran out 56-39 winners over the Dragons with Brian O'Driscoll, Malcolm O'Kelly (2), James Norton (2), Felipe Contepomi and Niall Ronan all touching down for the hosts
- Leinster's captain for this evening, Felipe Contepomi is fifth in the list of top points scorers so far this season with 55 points (8 conversions and 13 penalties). The Dragons' Wales star Ceri Sweeney is fourth on 62 (1 try, 6 conversions and 14 penalties)
- Contepomi has kicked 21 out of 30 shots at goal - including his last four - for a 70% kicking success rate. Leinster's top try scorer is Ireland winger Denis Hickie with three tries in five appearances. Aled Brew has bagged three in four games for the Welsh region
- The Dragons are joint-top of the disciplinary charts with the Scarlets, having earned only one yellow card to date in the league. Leinster, on the other hand, are currently the worst with seven sin-binnings in total, including three for Ireland 'A' prop Ronan McCormack