Newport Gwent Dragons skipper Lewis Evans believes he can pick up where Luke Charteris left off – citing the Welsh international as the best captain he has played under.
The 25-year-old back row was handed the captaincy after Charteris sought pastures new with Perpignan but his pre-season has been disrupted with a calf injury which forced him out of friendlies with Biarritz and London Irish.
Evans has regained full fitness however and will lead the Dragons in their opening clash of the new RaboDirect PRO12 season against Zebre next Friday.
And while Evans may come across as unassuming on the field, he revealed he plans to lead by example on it as the Dragons bid to improve on their ninth-place finish last term.
“It has been a bit difficult for me as captain because of the injuries but I’m back to full training and I’m looking forward to giving my first team talk and getting going,” he said.
“I think Luke Charteris is the one that sticks in my mind though. He was a leader on the pitch, always first on the pitch and he was always grafting and I think the stats show he was head and shoulders above the rest.
“He always said the right thing when it needed to be said and that’s what I aim to do. He didn’t rant and rave but would say things during the game when it was necessary.
“I think everyone is excited now. We’ve had a good pre-season and feel like we’ve improved as a team and we want take that into the season.”