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Ryan: Dragons will enjoy Euro elite

08/12/2020

Boss Dean Ryan has vowed his Dragons will go in full of confidence and enjoy every second of their Heineken Champions Cup campaign.

Dragons are this week busy preparing for the return to the top tier of European competition for the first time in almost a decade - after last playing in the competition in the 2010/11 season. 

Ryan’s men are back on home soil this Saturday evening as they face English Premiership giants Wasps at Rodney Parade (kick-off 5.30pm).

And the Director of Dragons Rugby insists his team – boosted by back-to-back Guinness PRO14 victories - will go into battle in a positive mindset and eager to enjoy the ride.

“We’re going to enjoy it,” stated Ryan. “I said right at the beginning, we’re not naïve enough to understand the challenge that we face, but we’re going to enjoy it.

“I think someone told me a stat that 70% of our squad have never played in the Champions Cup. It’s been ten years since the region were there before, so we are going to enjoy it.

“This is exactly where, right from the first game against Bristol when we finished off last year, the level of competition that the players want to test themselves.

“We’re not naive enough to not know that sometimes that will highlight the things we need to get better at - but you won’t know that unless you play at the highest level.

“Over the next couple of weeks we will certainly be right at that top level.”

Dragons will also be boosted by the return of several Wales internationals as Elliot Dee, Leon Brown, Aaron Wainwright and Jonah Holmes all link back up, after Nick Tompkins returned last week.

“I think they will definitely feature,” admitted Ryan. “We have got to see where we are with some coming back buzzing and some coming back a little bit disappointed.

“We’ve got to get that right with where we are as a group. They definitely add a huge amount of value to us.

“We have just concentrated in the last 24 hours on getting back together as a group so that we are ready to go on Saturday.”

I think someone told me a stat that 70% of our squad have never played in the Champions Cup. It’s been ten years since the region were there before, so we are going to enjoy it...
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