Dragons will face Rugby World Cup bound Russia next month as part of a double-header of exciting international fixtures the region is taking on the road.
Bernard Jackman’s men will tackle the Bears – who are coached by former Dragons boss Lyn Jones – at Bedwas RFC on Friday, November 16th (kick-off 7.30pm).
Dragons defeated Russia 40-12 in a friendly at Rodney Parade in 2011 as a warm-up encounter for the World Cup in New Zealand.
The region has already confirmed a friendly fixture with Hong Kong on Monday, October 29 at Eugene Cross Park, Ebbw Vale.
Head Coach Bernard Jackman said: “The Russia game in Bedwas is a week before we play Edinburgh in the PRO14, following two weekends off, so it will be ideal in the lead up to that match.
“Both Russia and Hong Kong are looking to compete in the Rugby World Cup and we have close links with both nations, with ex-Dragons coaches Leigh Jones and David Rees involved with Hong Kong and Lyn Jones coaching Russia. Shaun Connor is also involved with Russia as well.
“Both games are completely different types of events and opposition than we normally play in the PRO14 or in European competition, so the players are definitely excited by it.
“The majority of our players are homegrown and they’ve come from clubs within the region so it’s good to go back,” he added.
“Grassroots rugby is incredibly important. We, at the professional end, are only a tiny percentage of the overall game and we are sending players back to the Premiership every week, which is a brilliant opportunity for them to go and play.
“To bring two more games under the Dragons umbrella to regional club sides is exciting for everyone.”
Dragons have faced Russian opposition in recent years after being drawn to face Enisei-STM in the European Challenge Cup in successive seasons, 2016/17 and 2017/18.
Russia are currently building towards Japan 2019 when they will go up against the hosts, Ireland, Scotland and Samoa in the pool stages.
Bedwas RFC Director Mark Lewis shared his excitement ahead of hosting the international clash adding: “We are proud and excited to be hosting Dragons versusRussia.
“We have an excellent relationship with Bernard and the Dragons and we are looking forward to extending our partnership to hosting this unique international contest. We look forward to showcasing the best of Gwent rugby at the Bridgefield and seeing homegrown take to the pitch.”
“In Welsh club rugby, there is a proud history and heritage of club versus country matches. Memories of Newport in 1963 and Llanelli in 1972 beating the All Blacks evoke strong feelings and although rugby has moved on a long way since those days, there is a huge appetite for these ‘friendlies’ where fans can enjoy a unique type of contest.
“I am confident that the whole Bedwas RFC community will make the region proud when it comes to hosting the match and throwing our support behind the boys.”
Tickets to Dragons vs Russia will be available from the Rodney Parade Ticket Office from Wednesday, October 10 for members and on public sale from Monday, October 15 and from the following link:
Bedwas members and season ticket holders can enjoy a ticket discount for this match with adult entry priced at £10 in advance, £15 on the day. A valid season ticket will be required at the time of purchase.
For the public sale, tickets in advance are priced £12 adults and £5 under 16s, with on the day prices for all adults £15. All tickets are unreserved, with limited seating available at the venue, available on a first come, first served basis.