Dean Ryan admits there is ‘no hiding’ place in the Guinness PRO12 opener with Munster – and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Dragons head to Limerick and the intimidating Thomond Park on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) to start the new campaign.
Munster have a hugely impressive league record and have not been defeated at home in any tournament since Leinster were victorious on Boxing Day 2017.
The Irishmen have also only suffered one defeat on the opening weekend in the last nine seasons of Guinness PRO14 - by a single point at home in Limerick to Edinburgh in 2014.
However, it is a challenge that Ryan wants his team to embrace on day one as they look to discover exactly where they are as a squad.
“There is no hiding at Munster and we just want to understand where we are starting from,” he said.
“It’s an incredibly tough place to go and to do anything there we are going to have to play incredibly well.
“That doesn’t worry us, we are just so keen to get going. We just have to get out there and play, we can’t wait.
“We want to win every game. That starts with Munster, I believe if you prepare correctly then you have got every right to try and win a game. We just want to see where we are starting from.
“I am genuinely excited by the challenge of the PRO14,” he added.
“The tournament supports a little bit of a more free way of playing and I can’t wait to get in it, understand it, see if we can get better in it and dent a few people.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed these months and I am genuinely surprised by what I found.
“All you want as a coach is people that are prepared to work hard, look at things differently and take some responsibility, that’s what makes it fun.
“We know that we are going to get bounced around at times, we know that some things aren’t going to work, but I am enjoying being a support for people that want to see how good they can be.”
All you want as a coach is people that are prepared to work hard, look at things differently and take some responsibility, that’s what makes it fun...