Elliot Dee: Wales hooker back for Bordeaux trip

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Dragons hooker Elliot Dee has won one cap for Wales
European Challenge Cup: Bordeaux Begles v Dragons
Venue: Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux Date: Saturday, 13 January Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Coverage: Listen live online on the BBC Sport website.

Wales hooker Elliot Dee returns to the Dragons starting side for the European Challenge Cup trip to Bordeaux Begles.

Dee returns after missing defeat to the Scarlets through concussion.

Gavin Henson is named as a replacement after being dropped for the region’s last two Pro14 derbies.

Dorian Jones returns at outside-half alongside South African scrum-half Sarel Pretorius, as Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman makes 10 changes for the trip to France.

“Lots has been said about whether you start Gav and have a younger scrum-half, or start Sarel [Pretorius] and have a younger fly-half,” said Dragons skills coach Barry Maddocks.

“But we can’t play Gav every single game. We have to select the games he plays and he’ll be full of energy this week coming back into the group.

“The [Bordeaux] pack is extremely strong. We know they’re a very powerful unit up front, so experience will be on show, as much as we have.”

Five of the Dragons squad who played against the Scarlets are not eligible for Europe, increasing the relief that Dee is available.

The Dragons will still have to use loose-head prop Sam Hobbs as a back-up to Lloyd Fairbrother, their only available specialist tight-head.

Robson Blake returns to the side at number eight with James Benjamin switching to flanker.

The Dragons and Bordeaux are level on 11 points in the Challenge Cup pool, with Newcastle strong favourites to win the group on 18 points.

The Falcons are the only visiting side to have won at the Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas this season.

Dragons: Angus O’Brien; Ashton Hewitt, Adam Warren, Jack Dixon, Jared Rosser; Dorian Jones, Sarel Pretorius; Thomas Davies, Elliot Dee, Lloyd Fairbrother, Rynard Landman, Cory Hill (capt), Aaron Wainwright, James Benjamin, Robson Blake.

Replacements: Liam Belcher, Luke Garrett, Sam Hobbs, Joe Davies, Carl Meyer, Dan Babos, Gavin Henson, Pat Howard.

Bordeaux Begles: Geoffrey Cros; Fa’asui Fuatai, Romain Lonca (capt), Ben Volavola, Blair Connor; Matthieu Jalibert Gauthier Doubrere; Sébastien Taofifenua, Ole Avei Ravai Kovekalou, Luke Jones, Cyril Cazeaux, Mahamadou Diaby, Alexandre Roumat, Marco Tauleigne.

Replacements: Adrien Pélissié, Thierry Paiva, Lasha Tabidze, Pierre Gayraud, Leroy Houston, Jules Gimbert, Metuisela Talebulamaijaina, Apisai Naqalevu.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)

Assistant referees: Jack Makepeace (England), Jonathan Healy (England)

TMO: David Sainsbury (England)

Citing Commissioner: Dave Guyan (England)



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