Boss Dean Ryan has urged the youth talent in the Dragons squad to take the chance to impress with both hands as he strives for fierce competition across all positions.
Ryan was thrilled with the likes of Will Talbot-Davies and Owen Jenkins after they impressed in the Guinness PRO14 victory over Zebre in Italy.
Prop Josh Reynolds also got valuable minutes as a late call-up following an injury to starting front row Ryan Bevington.
And Director of Dragons Rugby Ryan is keen for that trend to continue as his team welcome Connacht Rugby to Rodney Parade this Friday evening (kick-off 7.35pm).
“We’ve got to be better at moving on and getting people in,” he said.
“Will Talbot-Davies was outstanding at the weekend and we were nervous about not having Ashton (Hewitt) there.
“We had the same with Owen Jenkins when we lost Jared (Rosser), while for Josh Reynolds to get some time in a memorable game was great.
“There are lots of opportunities here for young men to press their claim by taking their chances and now the pressure is on Ashton to come in and play well to get back.
“That’s exactly where we want to be, we want contests and we want competition for places.
“Nobody wants to be without their best players but statistically in rugby there are probably 20 per cent of your players missing all the time.
“We’ve just got to get better at supporting those that come in and enjoy it when they take their opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Ryan has praised full back Jordan Williams after he overcame illness to shine at Stadio Lanfranchi – with a memorable second half long range solo try securing the try bonus.
“Full credit to Jordan, we had some illness in the camp and he was one of the worst affected,” revealed Ryan.
“There were some concerns on Thursday and Friday about whether he would play, he wasn’t well before the game and he had to tough it out.
“When you have got somebody like Jordan on the field you know that (attacking threat) is always there but sometimes you have also just got to tough it out.
“A big thanks to him, it was credit to him to get out there, let alone help score the tries.”
Watch Dean Ryan’s Dragons in action this Friday evening at Rodney Parade. Tickets remain on sale NOW – Click HERE to buy online and join us at the home of the Dragons for the first home league game.
There are lots of opportunities here for young men to press their claim by taking their chances...