NEWPORT Gwent Dragons coach Rob Appleyard tells an interesting tale about openside Nic Cudd.

The pair have worked together in the past in Llanelli but it was a moment with Wales Under-20s in Ireland that stands out for Appleyard.

Flanker Cudd, who has been showing great form for the Dragons in recent weeks, went down injured.

No bother, he brushed off the medical staff, said it was just a bump and carried on.

It was only afterwards that it became clear that he had flung himself back into action with a dislocated shoulder.

“Nic has no concern for his personal welfare and I think that’s something that every quality openside needs,” said Appleyard.

“These guys are the bravest men on the field – they are like punch bags at the contact area with players smashing into them but they just keep coming back for more.”

Which is why we have been blessed over the past fortnight; we’ve seen Sam Warburton slug it out with Richie McCaw and now he will be going up against David Pocock and Michael Hooper.

It’s not just the turnover stats that tell the tale of their effectiveness – they don’t need to actually achieve the steal in order to slow down the ball and disrupt their opponents.

It takes a brave man to get over the ball at the breakdown and be exposed to those flying in to clear out but these number sevens do it.

Former England back rower Lewis Moody earned the nickname ‘Mad Dog’ but he’s in good company when it comes to being a barking mad flanker.