Challenge Cup: Dragons ready for All Black Conrad Smith

By Nick WebbBBC Sport Wales
Conrad Smith
Conrad Smith won 85 caps for New Zealand
European Challenge Cup: Pau v Dragons
Venue: Stade du Hameau, Pau Date: Saturday, 19 December Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on the BBC Sport website plus score updates online

Newport Gwent Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones is welcoming the prospect of facing New Zealand's World Cup-winning centre Conrad Smith.

The All Black could make his debut for French side Pau against Dragons in the European Challenge Cup on Saturday.

The 34-year-old could line up alongside another All Black in fly-half Colin Slade.

"Our players are excited about the fact that Conrad Smith, Colin Slade etc will possibly be playing," Jones said.

"They want to play against those guys and it's a tough challenge for Smith coming into a new team, even though we know what quality he has."

Smith joined Pau on a two-year deal after he helped New Zealand beat Australia to retain the World Cup in October.

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Slade, 28, also linked up with Pau following the World Cup and made his debut earlier in December.

Dragons boosted their European Challenge Cup quarter-final hopes with a comfortable 22-0 victory over the French side last Saturday.

They are top of Pool 2 after three matches, one point ahead of Sale Sharks, but Pau and Castres both have a game in hand.

Dragons will be without wing Tom Prydie, who will have a scan on a knee injury he suffered during Saturday's win at Rodney Parade.

Lock Andrew Coombs, who has not played since April, is having another injection to try to resolve continuing knee problems.

Prop Boris Stankovich remains on the injury list with a rib injury but should return for the Christmas period.