23 Apr 14
Ireland's Rugby Union Players Association (IRUPA) yesterday announced their 2014 award nominations with four Munster players in contention for honours.
Continuing the youthful trend 20 year old Simon Zebo retains his place on the wing, 23 year old Stephen Archer comes into a new look front row, with 22 year old Ian Nagle providing the shunt alongside skipper Mick O'Driscoll while 21 year old Danny Barnes takes his place on what is a strong looking bench.
Marcus Horan and Denis Fogarty return to the starting front row for the first time since October and September respectively while Doug Howlett, a replacement last week in Aironi, resumes on the wing.
Meanwhile the men of Gwent welcome back row Toby Faletau back into the side after an ankle injury robbed him of a place in the Welsh Six Nations squad.
"It's obviously great to have Toby back in contention" said Dragons forwards coach Danny Wilson. "Toby's presence gives us a really physical back row, which you need playing a pack like Munster's."
"The scrum has gone well recently, we're starting to develop some depth in props which is crucial to our game," said Wilson. "We've changed the way we train with scrummaging this season which the boys have been really receptive to the increase in live scrummaging this season."
"Although it's a bit taxing physically, it's worth it for the improvement in matchday performance."
Newport Gwent Dragons: Will Harries; Adam Hughes, Tom Riley, Pat Leach, Matthew Pewtner; Jason Tovey,Wayne Evans; Hugh Gustafson, Steve Jones (Capt.), Ben Castle; Scott Morgan, Rob Sidoli; Andrew Coombs, Toby Faletau, Joe Bearman. Replacements: L.loyd Burns, Pat Palmer, Phil Price, Adam Jones, Lewis Evans, Ashley Smith, Jon Evans, Matthew Jones,