ONE thing that you notice when you venture around Gwent’s many rugby clubs is the amount of history on show in every clubhouse.

With many of the clubs being founded in the late 19th century they have had plenty of time to build up their trophy cabinets and international representatives.

Some trophies may be more distinguished than others but each and every one means something to a particular club and take pride of place around the bar.

The reason I say this is because I feel that with the new-look ‘Dragons’ establishing itself this summer, there is a huge opportunity to start creating our own history and culture.

I don’t have any hesitation in saying that since the inception of the regions in 2003 the Newport Gwent Dragons missed a huge opportunity in creating this.

When I was with the Exeter Chiefs a few years ago, every match day there would be at least two tables for ex-players.

This proved hugely popular not just with the supporters, who could speak and reminisce with their favourite players of good times past, but also the current squad. The former players would talk for hours about times gone by, what the club used to be like, the traditions they started and the games they played in.

This created a culture that was followed by all current and future players and staff connected with the club, it was also a proud moment for those guys to see their trophies and jerseys on display in the club.

If you haven’t seen it already, the excellent work Brad Hayward and the rest of the Dragons Official Supporters Club have done in the Burnett Suite, above the changing rooms at Rodney Parade, is a huge stepping stone to achieving this with jerseys and memorabilia going up regularly.

We very rarely see an ex-player at a game and it’s a huge shame as there have been some absolute legends from Welsh rugby who have put on a Dragons jersey over the last 14 years – Rob Sidoli, Matthew J Watkins, Steve Jones, Lloyd Burns, Colin Charvis to name only a few.

But the good news is that’s all about to change as plans are in place to invite these guys to future games and get them back involved with the region, so keep an eye out when we finally get another home game after October on the road.

The first of those comes this evening with the first derby of the season against our nearest and dearest of regions, Cardiff Blues.

This will be a good indicator of where we are in our development against a team full of established internationals.

It’s been well documented that we have a horrendous injury list, of which I’m unfortunately a member.

I’ve got an issue with my Achilles that I went into the Ulster game with and sadly I couldn’t get through the 80 minutes in Belfast.

Hopefully I’ll be back in the next few weeks because being injured is a bad place to be, especially in a derby week.

There have been a lot of very disappointed boys in the treatment room this week because everyone wants to be out there at the Arms Park to prove a point.

There is no better time to do that than in a derby and I believe we have a few players that have put their hands up for Wales selection this autumn.

Games like this that can prove the deciding factor.

No doubt there will be a good following of Dragons fans in Cardiff tonight to support the boys and it would be great to hear the Blues crowd drowned out. Fingers crossed the travelling fans will have plenty to celebrate come the final whistle.