Captain Andrew Coombs amazed by Matthew Screech's rapid rise
ANDREW Coombs knows a thing or two about rapid rises but even the Wales lock is taken aback by the way that new boy Matthew Screech has taken to life at Newport Gwent Dragons.
The second row partners have a great deal in common after suffering disappointment early in their careers.
Coombs was released by the Dragons as a teenager after being plagued by injury but fought back to earn a regional deal thanks to some stellar performances in Newport's back row.
His rise continued when he helped Wales win the Six Nations and the 28-year-old was rewarded with the Dragons' captaincy this summer.
While Coombs was on international duty in Japan this summer, Screech was preparing himself for club rugby.
The 20-year-old was cut by Cardiff Blues at the end of the season and penned a deal to play for Bedwas in the Premiership.
But the Dragons took up his contract after he joined them in pre-season training and impressed with his attitude and work ethic.
That graft earned a surprise start in the pre-season win against Bath and he has donned the 5 jersey in all three RaboDirect Pro12 games.
Screech has grasped his chance by putting in accomplished performances to keep Robert Sidoli and Adam Jones out of the team, earning the praise of his captain.
"Playing at this level and having that impact is huge, I couldn't have done it at his age," said Coombs.
"Credit to him because he works hard and puts the hours in. He really is a true professional and deserves everything he is getting at the moment.
"Matthew doesn't say a great deal, he just gets his head down. His carrying work is second to none and is a very good set-piece forward as well.
"He is a young kid with lots to work on but is going to be one for the future. He is confident in his own ability and is keeping some senior players out of the side, which is no easy task."
The second row pair were at the fore as the Dragons beat the Scarlets 23-16 at Rodney Parade last Friday.
But just like after the stunning opening day victory against Ulster, the skipper kept his feet firmly on the ground.
"We were excited about that win but now we are looking forward to Munster," said Coombs.
"We are developing week on week, not just on the pitch but on the training field as well. The boys are working hard and I am a firm believer that if you work hard enough then good things will happen.
"Last season we were under real pressure going into games but it's so much easier after a win.
"Munster are a tough side but we got there with confidence and anything can happen."
Comments are closed on this article.