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Munster squad for Dragons
9 September 2007, 7:48 am
By Pat Geraghty
Munster coach Declan Kidney has named a 27 strong squad ahead of Friday night's Magners League game against Munster at Rodney Parade kick off 6.10pm.
Kidney has gone for extra cover because of knocks picked up by Niall Ronan and Denis Fogarty but he is expected to reduce his squad to a travelling party of 24. The squad will train in Limerick tomorrow (Wednesday) and the starting line-up will be announced before midday on Thursday.

Munster Squad: S Payne, K Earls, I Dowling, A Horgan, K Lewis, R Tipoki, L Mafi, J Manning, P Warwick, D Williams, G Hurley, T O'Leary, F Pucciariello, Darragh Hurley, T Buckley, T Ryan, D Fogarty, S Cronin, M Essex, M Melbourne, M O'Driscoll, B Holland, N Ronan, T O'Donnell, D Sherry, J Coughlan, A Foley.

Meanwhile, Munster's opponents have gone for a 24-man squad that includes fly half Aled Thomas back in the squad following his recovery from a rib injury that forced him to miss the game against Connacht.

"We realise our recent performances and results have been unacceptable," said Head Coach Paul Turner. "Our set piece hasn't functioned and we haven't taken our opportunities when they have presented themselves. All of that will need to change if we are to get a win against Munster. They will be a very different side to the ones we have previously faced. They have added quality to their back division and brought in Paul Warwick, Kieran Lewis and Rua Tupoki and will be a different proposition behind the scrum from our past encounters."

Munster have won their last five matches in the Magners League although their last win in Wales in the league was on 4th November 2005. The last five encounters between the two sides in all competitions have gone the way of the home team on the day.

Centre Rhodri Gomer Davies joined the Men of Gwent in the summer and made his competitive debut for the team last week against Connacht. Looking ahead to the game he commented, "The squad wants to get our Magners League campaign back on track. We have had two very disappointing results against the Blues and Connacht and are aiming to put it right on Friday night in front of the home crowd. We are expecting a high tempo game and they will look to put us under pressure. It is a significant game for us as we try to build on what we achieved in our opening game and put the two recent results behind us."

Ashley Smith has recovered from his shoulder injury which kept him out towards the end of the season and the former Wales U20 captain is looking forward to facing Munster on Friday. "Munster is a must win game for us as we aim to bounce back from our two recent defeats. We realise we need to improve as a squad and we need to start getting results. On a personal note it is great to be back involved with the senior side, the spirit in the camp is good but we are frustrated that we are not showing our potential on the field. However, it is just the little things that are letting us down and if we show the same composure, determination and energy we did at Stradey Park then there is no reason why we cannot carry on from where we left off down at Llanelli. We always enjoy playing in front of the home crowd which raises our game and there would be no better way than to get our Magners League campaign back on track than with a win in front of the home crowd."

Dragons Squad:

Martyn Thomas, Gareth Wyatt, Rhodri Gomer-Davies, Ashley Smith, Phil Dollman, Richard Mustoe, Gareth McCarthy, Aled Thomas, Wayne Evans, Andy Williams, Hugh Gustafson, Adam Black, Steve Jones, Ben Daly, Rhys Thomas, Luke Charteris, Adam Jones, Andrew Hall, Peter Sidoli, Dan Lydiate, Jamie Ringer, Richard Parks, Nic Fitisemanu, Joe Bearman.

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