World Cup Sevens winner Aled Brew makes his return to the Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday (6.30pm kick-off) as the Welsh region travel to Galway to face Connacht.
Brew, who won the World Cup alongside Dragons teammates Tom Isaacs and Tal Selley in Dubai last month, makes a competitive debut in his second spell at the region, having spent the 2006/07 season there on loan from the Ospreys.
Brew rejoined the Dragons from the Cardiff Blues in January, initially coming in on-loan until the end of the season before a one year permanent contract comes into effect from June.
Fellow Wales Sevens star Isaacs has withdrawn from the squad due to a hip injury, and joins a lengthy Dragons injury list of Rhodri Gomer-Davies, Adam Black, James Harris, Gareth Wyatt and Marc Stchrebina.
Welsh international Luke Charteris returns to the Dragons starting XV for the first time since the Six Nations, as do Hugh Gustafson, Hoani Macdonald and Richard Fussell.
Dragons coach Paul Turner has no illusions about the windy playing conditions at the Sportsground, where his side have not won since May 2004.
He said: "We are well aware of our record in Galway and what a difficult place it is to go to.
"Connacht have already beaten Leinster and Munster at home this season and probably two or three of the regional sides have been on the brink of defeat there."
Turner added: "This game will be a good challenge for us and our development if we want to move up the table.
"If we have any pretence of going into the top four in the Magners League we have to win in Galway."
Michael Bradley makes four changes to his Connacht side, with centre Niva Ta'auso and scrum-half Frank Murphy both overcoming injuries to return in the backline.
Up front, prop Ronan Loughney and flanker Johnny O'Connor come into the side. There are also a number of positional changes from last Friday's 32-5 loss at Edinburgh, as Gavin Duffy switches from the centre to full-back, Andrew Browne moves into the second row and Ray Ofisa makes his first start at number eight.
Dragons Kevin Morgan, Richard Fussell, Rory Sidey, Ashley Smith, Aled Brew, Jason Tovey, Wayne Evans, Hugh Gustafson, Tom Willis (Capt), Rhys Thomas, Sean Tomes, Luke Charteris, Hoani Macdonald, Richard Parks, Joe Bearman,
Replacements Steve Jones, Nigel Hall, Adam Jones, Danny Lydiate, Martyn Thomas, Shaun Connor, Robert Lewis,
Connacht team: G Duffy; F Carr, N Ta'auso, K Matthews, L Bibo; I Keatley, F Murphy; B Wilkinson, S Cronin, R Loughney; A Browne, A Farley; J Muldoon (C), J O'Connor, R Ofisa.
Replacements: A Flavin, B McGovern, M Swift, C Rigney, C O'Loughlin, A Dunne, T Nathan.
The on and off-field benefits of schools and colleges employing a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub initiative continue to grow with the publication of the first half term figures of the current academic year.
Despite being in a tough group for the World Series opener in Dubai, Wales 7s head coach Gareth Williams says it is an exciting challenge and his squad are in a positive frame of mind, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s captain Luke Treharne may have only played once on the World Series, but he has full confidence in his side as they prepare for the opening two rounds of this year's series in Dubai and South Africa, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia