Milestone man Joe has high ambition


Lock Joe Davies admits he is not a man for the limelight and is used to his hard work often going unseen – but the man mountain will take centre stage in today’s league clash with Zebre Parma.

Davies will reach a century of appearances for the Men of Gwent in the game at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi – becoming only the 32nd player to achieve the feat.

The 26-year-old – a product of the Dragons Academy – will not be resting on his laurels as he hits the landmark number and insists only a win in Italy will make it a special day.

“It’s a nice milestone - hopefully it will feel a bit sweeter at the end of the game with a nice win out there,” he said 

“It’s my home region and every kid that loves playing rugby wants to achieve that kind of milestone.

“I wouldn't say I was a man for the limelight, and I don't know if I will lead the team out - I just do as I'm told!"

Davies made his senior Dragons debut in 2013 - in a Welsh regional derby against Scarlets in the LV= Cup - and has become a key figure in the pack.

And he has revealed how much he is enjoying the competition for places in the boiler house alongside the likes of Ben Carter and Will Rowlands.

That battle for a starting jersey will only intensify next season with George Nott and Sean Lonsdale both arriving with pedigree in the second row.

“I like I like the challenge. I like the competitiveness; I don't want to get comfortable, knowing I'm playing just because I'm the only player left,” said Davies.

“I don't want that as a player, you want the challenge. I'm looking forward to a bit more of a challenge again next year.

“I know what I'm good at. I know what I like to do. I love scrum, love maul, love the nitty gritty sort of stuff,” he added.

“I'm really going to have to bring my A game in those areas to keep my place.

“Like I said, I love being challenged. I don't want to be sat in my own comfort zone and I have done in the past and it's not gone well.

“I can’t worry and stress too much. I just have to go and do what I do best, be as good I can be and then try and improve myself in other areas where I'm not as competent as other people.”

The first challenge for Davies is Zebre Parma this afternoon and the Newport-born lock is only too aware of what is coming out in Italy.

“They are a 70% drive focussed team,” admitted Davies. “Teams might think they're messy, but they're big, they're heavy and they will put the squeeze on at scrum and at lineout drive time.

“We really need to focus on getting our jobs right and really laying down a marker for the next few weeks.

“We need to go there with a possession focus, keep hold of the ball and not throw the ball around for the sake of it. “We need to earn in the right to play and when we when we earned that we can go and express ourselves.

“The lads when we played down at Scarlets were immense. We had them around the park, with their drive and our scrum was going well too. We really need to focus and get back to that,” he added.

“Results speak for themselves, and we need to finish the season on a high. Prior to Scarlets away it had been a struggle with the one away win at Connacht.

“We need finish strongly, on a high and get the boys into the swing of things for the start of next season as well.”

I wouldn't say I was a man for the limelight, and I don't know if I will lead the team out - I just do as I'm told!
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