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Doge determined to grow at Dragons

06/08/2021

Fiji international Mesake Doge has vowed to kick on again and continue his eye-catching development after joining Dragons ahead of the new season.

The tighthead prop has joined Dean Ryan’s men from French outfit Brive, where he spent two seasons in the Top 14, following two years with Timisoara Saracens in Romania.

The 28-year-old has enjoyed his different experiences around Europe and is excited to explore a new brand of rugby in a new competition and country.

And Doge admits continuing to grow as a player is his top priority with the Men of Gwent in Wales.

“Different competitions, different teams and styles of play, I try to experience as many competitions as I can,” said the four-times capped Fijian.

“When I was in Romania it is quite different to how it was in France and comparing it to coming here in Wales it’s going to be different again to those experiences.

“Just for development and experience, trying to play in different competitions and different countries is exciting, I think.

He continued: “I had a talk with Dean and I was interested in the way they approached me and the way they are trying to put together a team that can make a change.

“To develop a very unique team and that is something that I am looking forward to.

“I believe that I’m still growing as a player so to come into an environment that will help you grow is something I’m excited for and that is why I signed for Dragons.”

Doge linked up with the squad for pre-season training this week following the completion of Fiji’s tour in New Zealand where he earned two caps against the All Blacks.

And the powerful front rower has settled in well and has praised the squad and staff for welcoming him with open arms.

“It’s been good, first week of training and the sun has been out so it’s been good, ‘he smiled.

“Coming over from New Zealand straight to here, I haven’t been home. But the boys here have been very welcoming and so has the country, so it feels very good to be here.

Reflecting on the summer tour, Doge added: “It was a good experience - it’s not often you get the opportunity to play the All Blacks and to be able to get those games in it’s something that is special.

“They were tough games, take nothing away from it, but to be able to play the current second-best team in the world is something that I will take away and learn a lot from as a player.”

Doge has already lined up against some of his new team-mates and the Dragons in the past during his time with Timisoara Saracens in Romania - but he has never played in Wales.

And the Nadroga-Navosa born prop is excited to play in front of the passionate supporters at Rodney Parade and has a message to the fans.

“To all the supporters out there, please come and support us because it’s going to be a great season for the Dragons,” he said.

“I’m really excited to be here to play rugby for your team and I’m excited to see the support you guys are giving.

“To play a home game for a great team, the pressure will always be there wherever you go, but it’s a good experience to play in Wales and to play at Rodney Parade where the rugby is very special to the fans.

“That is going to be something great for me to experience.”

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I believe that I’m still growing as a player so to come into an environment that will help you grow is something I’m excited for and that is why I signed for Dragons...
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