Dragons centre Ashley Smith is set to make a return to the side this weekend following nearly 6 months out with a foot injury.
Smith tore the ligaments and dislocated his foot in the region’s Rodney Parade clash with Cardiff Blues last April but will figure in the squad that heads to Treviso for the Magners League clash this weekend (Friday, 7:05pm)
“I’m not a good spectator and I’ve found it pretty frustrating being on the sidelines,” said Smith. “We’ve not clicked in previous games and we’ve worked very hard on the training pitch getting to know all of the new guys and building up that level of confidence in each other that we had last season. But I’m confident that we’re going to kick on now and get ourselves back on track.
Treviso is going to be a tough comeback match for me. On this season’s form they are certainly a tough proposition with some big ball carriers in the forwards and some dangerous backs – particularly Brendan Williams at fullback.
“We’ve worked a lot on our defence this week and hopefully we’ll come away with a more complete performance than over the last few weeks.
Dragons Backs Coach Darren Edwards is keen to see Ashley return to the side “We have taken a route this season to try and develop our own younger players but the flip side of that is the effect this can have on consistency,” he said. “Coupled with our injuries, it’s been difficult for the players to be consistent in their performances up until now and that’s something Ashley will help with massively.
“Without putting too much pressure on him, the great strengths Ashley has are his communication and organisational skills in both attack and defence and that’s where his will prove invaluable to us.”