Bateman enjoying Dragons journey


Prop Greg Bateman has spoken about his excitement to be part of what Dragons are building – and believes that next season he can hit even higher heights for the region.

The 31-year-old loosehead joined the region last September but has been limited to eight appearances this term, after a hamstring injury against Ulster on his first full start.

Now firmly back in the match day squad, Bateman is targeting a big end to the campaign in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup.

And as he comes towards the end of his first full season in Wales, the popular front row is sure he made the right move.

"Dean (Ryan) is a very good man manager and has certainly got me really excited and in love with my rugby again," he said.

"Ultimately that's the most important thing and that has given me the confidence to contribute in the environment when I haven't been able to be on the pitch. I feel in a good space on that front.

"It's been a frustrating season. I've had a little bit too much time on the physio bed for my liking, but have tried to contribute as much as I can off the pitch, helping the young lads coming through.

"It's been fantastic, what we are building here is really special and I am super pleased to be a part of it."

Bateman was ruled out from October until February but will make his ninth appearance of the season off the bench against Cardiff Blues tomorrow (Sunday).

And he’s keen to repay the faith shown in him and also help the next generation of Dragons push on in the tournament.

"I can't be more grateful for the patience that these guys have shown me and I am looking forward to repaying that,” he said.

"Coming late in the day with no pre-season and with a niggle, then not being able to build up match fitness was really difficult.

"The club have been incredibly patient with me and understood the parameters around me coming here and how challenging it was from a physical point of view.

"I'll get this season out of the way, have a good off season then pre-season and hopefully I will be back to where I want to be.

"I’m delighted that there are a few more games that I can get back out there for rather than letting my first season drift by," he added.

"It's also a really good opportunity to see more of the young lads. The Rainbow Cup is about a development opportunity for our young guys but those of us who have played a bit of rugby are there to provide a stable platform for them to shine."

Dean is a very good man manager and has certainly got me really excited and in love with my rugby again...
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