Brown up for tussle with Ospreys' powerful pack
BACK ROW forward Tom Brown insists the Newport Gwent Dragons pack are relishing the prospect of taking on the best set of forwards in the country on New Year’s Eve.
The Ospreys head to Rodney Parade on Monday looking to maintain their charge towards the RaboDirect Pro12 playoff places.
With Wales tighthead Adam Jones in inspirational form, the reigning champions smashed the Scarlets 32-3 on Boxing Day.
Scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i was named man of the match but it was a pack containing the likes of Richard Hibbard, Ian Gough, Ryan Jones, Joe Bearman and Justin Tipuric that won the game at the Liberty Stadium.
Even if coach Steve Tandy wants to rotate his squad then he is able to call on the likes of Duncan Jones, Campbell Johnstone, James King, Morgan Allen, Jonathan Thomas and George Stowers.
While the Ospreys are in fine fettle, the Dragons are licking their wounds after suffering a derby defeat at Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day.
It was a reverse that leaves them one from bottom of the Pro12 table and all but ends their hope of avoiding the ignominy of being the fourth-ranked Welsh region again.
Darren Edwards’ side produced one of their best displays of the season – particularly up front – yet failed to make their dominance count in horrendous conditions.
Number eight Brown knows that they will need to better that performance if they are to get the upper hand against Monday’s visitors.
“The Ospreys’ pack will be a great test for us and we are excited by it,” said the 29-year-old.
“As a pack we showed against the Blues that we are more than up for a physical challenge.
“We showed real determination in Cardiff and had the upper hand. The front eight and those of us that came off the bench dominated them and smashed into the rucks and were in charge at the set piece.
“To not take our chances and get a win that we felt we deserved is so, so frustrating but there is no problem with us getting back on the horse swiftly – we are always hungry to play and won’t shy away from the challenge.
“The quick turnaround won’t bother us and as a pack we need to at least reproduce that performance against the Blues or ideally improve on it.”
The Dragons should learn more about the extent of Dan Evans’ injury to his left ankle when they return to training this morning.
The fly-half/full-back suffered the blow in the build-up to Andy Tuilagi’s try at the Arms Park on Boxing Day.
Full-back/wing Tom Prydie missed the clash at the capital because of a knee injury and it remains in the balance whether he will be fit to face the Ospreys, who he left last summer to head to Rodney Parade.