Fly half Sam Davies wants Dragons RFC to pick-up the momentum when they restart the BKT United Rugby Championship – and insists the squad has travelled to South Africa with confidence after an encouraging start to the season.
The Men of Gwent won successive league games over Ospreys and Zebre Parma on home soil before a break after the first block of fixtures.
The season explodes back into life this weekend with Dragons in Johannesburg to face Emirates Lions at Emirates Airline Park on Sunday (kick-off 2pm UK).
Davies was instrumental in the back-to-back wins before the break and now stands on 522 points for the club in 63 appearances.
The 29-year-old will be a key figure as Dragons return and he believes the team can go out with renewed belief and optimism.
He said: “We had a busy seven-week block at the start of the season and there was momentum coming out of that block - hopefully we can pick that momentum back up straightaway on Sunday.
“The other teams haven't been playing either so everyone's in the same boat. As long as we can adjust to the altitude as quickly as possible, I’d like to think the way we've trained we'll be able to transfer into the game.
“I certainly think it's the best shape we've been in going out there,” he added.
“The South African teams are obviously very good; everyone knows that and you could see that from last year's performance from all of them.
“They've obviously started this season very well, but so have we. From a confidence perspective, we are confident that we’re able to go out there now and get a result.
“That's probably not somewhere where we were last year, but we're a tight knit group of boys and I think we're starting to have a belief about us now. Taking that to South Africa is vital.
“If you get on the plane not believing you're going to win, then there's no point in getting on the plane in the first place. We believe that we can get results.”
Davies has been competing with JJ Hanrahan, Angus O’Brien and youngster Will Reed for the ten jersey this season.
And he firmly believes that competition for the starting jersey can take his game to new heights.
“There is four of us and it's been brilliant,” smiled Davies.
“We’ve got Reedy (Will Reed) who is coming through and he's a great player. He's going to have a great future.
“We have JJ (Hanrahan) who has lots of experience in the Top 14 and English Premiership and Angus (O’Brien) who has been playing exceptionally well at 15.
“I’d like to keep Angus back in the 15 position. He can stay there and then just let me and the others battle it out!
“I'm enjoying the competition and it’s probably something I've lacked the last couple of years,” he admitted.
“It’s pretty evident that it's beneficial. Whether you like it or not, it is beneficial, so I am all for it.
“It can be tough when you are playing every minute of every game, week in and week out, when things aren't going very well.
“Last year we didn't really have the platform we wanted, but this year has been exceptionally good.
“I can't tell you how hard it is to play as an outside half when you haven't got a platform. You're not getting much ball and you're always on the back foot. We've got that platform this year.
“Our lineout is stealing a lot of ball and winning our own ball, our drive has become a weapon, our scrum is solid.
"As an outside half, that allows you to make decisions. That's where I feel I can be of best value to this team.”
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If you get on the plane not believing you're going to win, then there's no point in getting on the plane in the first place. We believe that we can get results...