JASON Tovey has admitted he went off the boil with Newport Gwent Dragons as he prepares for life with the Cardiff Blues, writes Chris Kirwan.
The 23-year-old fly-half from Cwmcarn left Rodney Parade this summer after coming through the Dragons academy.
Tovey was tipped for international honours when he burst on the scene but five seasons later he heads to Cardiff Arms Park as an uncapped player.
The former Wales Under-20s starlet hopes that the move can re-ignite his career.
“I went a bit stale at the Dragons,” admitted the left-footer. “I wasn’t really pushed out of my comfort zone but this is a fresh start and I have had to come here and work hard.
“I think that I suffered a lack of form but we weren’t playing well as a team either and you could see that with all of the boys’ performances.
“But this is a new era for me and if we can win a lot of games then hopefully it can push me on to international honours.
“I want a consistent season and to produce the performances that I was for the Dragons 18 months ago.”
Tovey endured a frustrating end to life with the Dragons following his decision to make the short journey west.
The Rodney Parade coaching staff took the opportunity to blood young fly-halves Lewis Robling and Steffan Jones ahead of this season.
That policy left Tovey nine points short of Ceri Sween-ey’s regional record of 570, something his fellow fly-half hasn’t been shy of pointing out at the Blues’ Vale of Glamorgan training base.
But Tovey, who made 92 Dragons appearances, is not bitter. “I had meetings with Darren (Edwards, head coach) throughout the second half of the season and he told me what they were going to do,” he said.
“That was fair enough, they were trying to bring Lewis and Steffan through and they’ve done that because they haven’t signed another 10. It was frustrating but that’s life, you get on with it and I am here now.
“It is hard when you see the boys losing silly games, particularly ones at the end of the season that we should have won.
“You wonder whether you could have made a difference but I totally understand what the coaches were doing.”
Now Tovey must strive to earn the number 10 jersey at the start of the RaboDirect Pro12 campaign with the week three fixture – the return to Rodney Parade – circled on his calendar.
“It’s one of the biggest games of the season for me and I look forward to seeing all my mates again,” he said.
“I could hear what the crowd were like at Cardiff Blues games when I was with the Dragons and they give a hell of a lot of stick to the opposition.
“I’ll just have to try and take it in my stride and deal with it.”