FIRST of all I’d like to congratulate the boys who have been selected for the upcoming autumn internationals.

It’s about time we had a fair representation in a Wales squad and I hope Hallam Amos, Elliot Dee, Leon Brown and Cory Hill all do themselves and the region proud, while it was a shame Tyler Morgan had to pull out through injury.

And what a surprise it was to see BBC Scrum V filming within the region on Sunday, not only that but my home town with a few familiar faces in the Croesyceiliog crowd.

It sometimes requires a double take when you hear the positivity being discussed on that show, but that’s credit to the work of the new owners and management to change the perception of the region. 

Looking back it’s safe to say Friday’s game at the Ospreys threw up a few stats that I’ve not seen before – over 160 tackles in the first half culminating in over 200 after the 80 minutes is incredible.

Combined with a ball-in-play of time 48 minutes – the league high last season was 38 – it gives a good idea of the work rate all players showed at the Liberty Stadium. 

But what we didn’t do Friday night is make things easy for ourselves. Another interesting stat picked up by our analysis team was ‘time in opposition 22’.

We spent 1min 53secs in the Ospreys’ 22 and they spent 12min 26secs in ours.

The league average is around three minutes and against a team like the Ospreys, with the calibre of player they possess, it makes the scoreline inevitable. 

These are issues I know the team have worked on this week as Munster will ask the some of the same questions. 

They are riding high in Conference A and also second in the try scoring charts, so they will be formidable opposition tonight.

Historically at this point in the season the Dragons have always seen this as an opportunity to gain scalps due to opposition international call ups but we find ourselves in a similar position to our rivals now.

A lot of teams in the league have learnt over the years how to adapt to these situations but it’s something we are going to have to pick up quickly.

With regards to myself, things are moving forward pretty swiftly after a cortisone injection and by the time this has gone to print I should have started running.

Unfortunately a foot injury is very restrictive so I’ll have a week or two with Ryan Harris, our head of strength and conditioning, who’ll be whipping me back into shape ready for some game time, hopefully in the next few weeks. He’s also very excited about this opportunity! 

We have a new head of medical at the Dragons as well – Ben ‘Stirlo’ Stirling, who has joined us from the ‘dark side’ having previously been at Warrington Wolves.

He is starting to effect his ethos on how that side of club should work and be structured.

Let’s just say I’m even more eager to be leaving the LTI (long term injured) group soon as they are in for a very tough time, just in case anyone thought being injured means actual time off! 

The average day for an injured player involves two weights sessions, a conditioning session, injury specific rehab, physio appointments and a static skills session with coaches.

The idea is that when you leave you’re in a better position than when you arrived.

Let’s hope for a positive performance out in Cork to take us into the Anglo-Welsh Cup, where again there will be lots of opportunities for players to show what they can offer.