AFTER a miserable few weeks in the RaboDirect Pro12 it’s with some excitement that Newport Gwent Dragons get a chance to start with a clean slate in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Sure, it’s a tournament that doesn’t have the glamour of the Heineken Cup but it does present a chance of earning a big European occasion.

Tthe Rodney Parade games with Wasps and Bayonne don’t quite fit the bill – the second tier competition only goes up a notch when it’s knockout.

But the Dragons will have a great shot at making the last eight if they can get off to a flier in Wycombe then send the French team packing in Newport seven days later.

The quarters would be in their grasp with 10 points guaranteed against Mogliano.

It’s up for grabs but their chances rest on starting well and doing something that they failed to do at Exeter and Perpignan last term – heading home with something to show for their efforts.

The heat is on. Fail and you’ll be able  to count the number of times the Dragons sport their new Amlin jersey (which will also be worn in the LV= Cup) in Europe on the digits of one hand