Scrum half Rhodri Williams is ready to lead the Dragons into action this weekend if called upon – but insists there is a team of leaders in the squad ready to step up to the plate at Munster.
Dragons open the new Guinness PRO14 season with a difficult away trip to Limerick and Thomond Park on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
Williams – who successfully captained the team in pre-season – is hoping to be involved in the big league opener and is ready to take on the captaincy if asked.
However, he stressed victory in Ireland this weekend would only be secured if players across the squad led to deliver a true team performance.
“I captained the game against Scarlets and if I am called upon again it would be a massive honour to captain the region,” said Williams.
“I did captain back in my Scarlets days in the LV=Cup a long time ago – but never a league game.
“It was a privilege to do it in pre-season, but it doesn’t change me much as a player. Ultimately, we have got a lot of leaders in the team.
“My position falls into a leadership role, but that is scattered across the team with people looking at their own areas.
“The tens will control attack, the centres will control the defence. You look at the second rows and the lineouts – people have to take control of their own areas.
“We’re excited for that first game of the season,” he added. “It’s been a long pre-season, but obviously it’s been good for us. Dean (Ryan) has done a lot of work and it is looking really good.
“The first game of the competitive season is a big test for us. But it’s not all about loading it onto one game, we are going to build into the season. The season is not over if we lose on Saturday.
“Yes, we are going there to win; you always want to win your opening game. We will look at our processes and hopefully we can get a good performance.”
Dragons face a stern test against a Munster side that has not been defeated at home in any tournament since Leinster were victorious at Thomond Park in the Guinness PRO14 in December 2017.
“It’s a World Cup so they are without some of their internationals, but they are still going to be a quality side,” said Williams.
“It is going to be a big test and we have to make sure we are ready and build on this week.
“It’s a pitch you can enjoy playing on, it’s a quality stadium and it is something to get excited about.
“As a group we can look forward to the fixture and relish it as a player and challenge yourself. It’s important this week that we look at ourselves, put what we have done in training into place.
“We’re going to win the game, the same as any other team. You never go in to lose and that is professional rugby.
“It’s a big challenge, we know that, and it’s not going to be easy. But hopefully we can make a positive start.”
Watch Rhodri Williams and the Dragons this season at Rodney Parade. Tickets on sale NOW for the home opener with Connacht and all home league games - click HERE to buy!
The first game of the competitive season is a big test for us... But it’s not all about loading it onto one game, we are going to build into the season...