BRISTOL expect Newport Gwent Dragons to provide perfect preparation for a crunch Championship opener, writes Chris Kirwan.
The West Country outfit open their league campaign against fellow big guns Worcester at Ashton Gate on September 7.
The countdown begins on Sunday when the Rodney Parade region make the short trip to Clifton RFC (kick-off 3pm).
Bristol have made a raft of new signings – including new captain and former Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel – and Ben Glynn is excited about helping them settle in.
"Pre-season preparations have gone really well and it's just a case of continuing to build towards the Warriors game," said the lock.
"The new players have come in and gelled really quickly – they're a great bunch of lads and have fitted in superbly.
"Obviously, the first game back following the off-season is an opportunity to shake-off the cobwebs and get to grips with new strategies and team-mates.
"It's great that we will be coming up against a strong Dragons outfit because they will be stern opposition. It should be a beneficial hit-out for the boys and there is plenty of rugby in August to come.
"The result isn't particularly important – but if we can make improvements and continue to do so throughout pre-season so we are ready for the new Championship season, that's what counts."
Entry costs £10 for adults, £5 for children and is free for children.