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Gareth Thomas: 'This game means everything. We have to leave it all out there.'

The Ospreys and Wales loosehead expects a big reaction against Australia after the chastening loss to Georgia

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George North switches position for first Ospreys start in a year

By Kim Ekin
George North /Getty

George North returns to the Ospreys’ starting line-up for the first time in a year and is positioned at centre as they take on the Dragons in the United Rugby Championship (URC).

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The 30-year-old back has not started since suffering knee ligament damage last April.

North’s injury ruled him out of contention for the British and Irish Lions’ 2021 South Africa tour, and his last Wales appearance was 13 months ago.

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The Ospreys have two league games left this season, while Wales face a three-Test series against South Africa in July, with matches in Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Cape Town.

“The Dragons are always competitive and a tough team to play against,” Ospreys Head Coach Toby Booth. “They have a lot of good players, especially around the contact aspects of the game, and a very strong backrow. They always contest the ball hard and you saw that facet of their game with the performance away to the Scarlets.

“The nature of that performance showed if they get their tails up how tough they can be. The Dragons will be smarting from last week as well and Welsh derbies create real positive tension for sides to perform well. So, this is about us matching their threat and it’s a massive challenge for us.”

Ospreys: Michael Collins, Alex Cuthbert, George North, Owen Watkin, Keelan Giles, Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Webb (CAPT), Nicky Smith, Dewi Lake, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Will Griffiths, Jac Morgan, Morgan Morris

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Replacements: Sam Parry, Gareth Thomas, Tom Botha, Bradley Davies, Dan Lydiate, Reuben Morgan Williams, Stephen Myler, Luke Morgan

Dragons: Jordan Williams, Rio Dyer, Adam Warren, Josh Lewis, Jared Rosser, Will Reed, Gonzalo Bertranou, Aki Seiuli, Taylor Davies, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, Ben Carter, Harri Keddie (CAPT), Taine Basham, Ollie Griffiths

Replacements: James Benjamin, Josh Reynolds, Mesake Doge, Huw Taylor, Ben Fry, Lewis Jones, Sam Davies, Jonah Holmes

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