Head Coach Ceri Jones firmly believes Dragons are in ‘a good place up front’ as they prepare to tackle the might of Benetton Rugby away in Italy this weekend.
Dragons make the trip to Stadio Monigo on Saturday (kick-off 1pm UK time) to face one of the most in-form teams in the Guinness PRO14 – the Italians have not lost on home soil since November.
Jones will also be without the likes of Ryan Bevington and Brandon Nansen – who both miss the game through injury - while Elliot Dee, Leon Brown, Cory Hill, Aaron Wainwright and Ross Moriarty are away with Wales.
However, he insists he has been happy with recent performances up front.
“Generally, we have been in a good place up front,” he said. “We had a couple of calls I wasn’t particularly happy with in the scrum (against Edinburgh) but generally we have been in a good place.
“Our analysts did a stat the other day that showed we have possibly won more scrum penalties and free kicks than anyone else in the league.”
Jones has also praised the players who have put in big shifts against the likes of Munster and Edinburgh Rugby in the last two league games.
“If we can look to get an advantage up front you look to keep those players on the field for longer periods,” he said.
“I played in the front row and I know what they are capable of doing and not doing.
“In terms of making changes, that is my call on the day. If that is an area where I feel we can get good outcomes then I am going to continue to do as I see fit.
“There is no written rule about when you should make replacements,” he added.
“As a coach I have got to be able to look at it, know my players and make the right calls on the day. That is what I get paid for.”
If we can look to get an advantage up front you look to keep those players on the field for longer periods... I played in the front row and I know what they are capable of doing and not doing...