Dragons back rower Lewis Evans chuffed to be back scrapping for a start
6:02am Friday 30th August 2013 in Dragons
LEWIS Evans is delighted to be back in the mix for selection as Newport Gwent Dragons prepare for the big kick-off against Ulster, writes Chris Kirwan.
The back row forward endured a frustrating end to the 2012/13 campaign after injuring his calf against the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium.
That blow meant he sat out the last four games and was denied the chance to lead out his side in the Millennium Stadium clash against the Scarlets.
Evans, who has seen the captaincy pass to Wales lock Andrew Coombs, made his return to action in last week's pre-season win against Bath.
The 26-year-old started at number eight but can play anywhere in the back row, a handy virtue given that there is sure to be a huge scrap for jerseys 6, 7 and 8.
Evans is pleased to be in contention for a spot against Ulster at Rodney Parade next Friday after coming through the 22-20 victory unscathed.
"I've had my calf niggles over the summer but the last couple of weeks have been pretty good," he said.
"I was pretty nervous before kick-off against Bath because it was my first game since the Ospreys.
"It had been a long time since I'd had that matchday preparation and it was good to blow away a few of the cobwebs."
Ulster will do their fine-tuning on the pitch when they take on Leicester at Welford Road tomorrow afternoon. The Irish province will be looking to emulate the Dragons in securing a pre-season pick-me-up.
"The win against Bath gave us a real boost ahead of Ulster," said Evans.
"The big focus of the summer was on our defence, we had a poor record last year and one of Lyn's major aims is to sort that out. That work paid dividends against Bath.
"There are obvious weaknesses and we will have to go back to the drawing board at the scrum and lineout but there were more positives.
"Now it's a case of dotting the Is and crossing the Ts ahead of the first game."
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