HOW the fixtures fall for the Dragons in the early part of next season will be crucial to their hopes of a successful campaign, according to Wales legend Jonathan Davies.

The Guinness PRO14 schedule is expected to be revealed soon and former fly-half Davies wants to see the Dragons given the chance to get off to a winning start on home soil.

A home match to kick-off the new term would be perfect for the Gwent region, with the fans not having to wait too long to get a glimpse of the summer signings in competitive action.

And when the Dragons do run out in front of their own supporters, Davies is eager for Bernard Jackman’s charges to make Rodney Parade a difficult ground for visiting teams.

“Fixtures will be vitally important,” said dual code international Davies.

“Hopefully they get a few home games at the start of the season.

“There’s never an easy game but easier games, because if they’re going to go to Leinster, Munster and Scarlets in the first three then all of a sudden you can start losing.

“All they’ve got to do is target the first game, get the win and go on from there.

“They need to focus on the basics and that first game. All of pre-season should be on the first game. Win that and take the rest as they come, it’s as simple as that.”

He added: “They’ve got to make Rodney Parade a fortress again, make it difficult for teams and be aggressive.

“That’s what was missing last season. I thought the tenacity and the usual amphitheatre of Rodney Parade was missing. They’ve got to recreate that.”

Meanwhile, the Dragons, Ospreys, Scarlets and Cardiff Blues will face the four Irish provinces in a new cross-border development competition next season.

The tournament has been designed to bridge the gap between Premiership and PRO14 competitions.

The Welsh Rugby Union announced in March that there would be new regional sides, with players in teams mainly being aged under 23.

There will be six games before a final in September and October, with more games possible in April.

A WRU spokesperson said: “The finer details of its structure will be available shortly, but it is our collective ambition to create a new tier of professional competition for our teams that services all the requirements of a successful player pathway.

“As previously advised, this competition will run alongside our existing club competitions and provide a performance environment for player development.”

*Jonathan Davies was speaking ahead of the Icons of Rugby Golf Tournament, which takes place at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club in Denham, England on July 28-29.

Twenty-four of the world's greatest rugby players are involved in the two-day event, which sees the southern hemisphere go up against their northern hemisphere counterparts.

Davies is joined by the legendary Sir Gareth Edwards and centre Tom Shanklin as the Welshmen to tee off.

Others in the northern team include Ireland's Johnny Sexton, Brian O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell and Keith Wood, England's Lawrence Dallaglio, Mike Tindall, Sir Clive Woodward and Jeremy Guscott and Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg.

Those representing the southern hemisphere are All Black giants Zinzan Brooke, Grant Fox, Andrew Mehrtens and Christian Cullen, Springbok 2007 World Cup winners Bryan Habana, John Smit, Victor Matfield, Fourie Du Preez and coach Jake White, plus Wallaby 1999 World Cup winners George Gregan, Matthew Burke and Tim Horan.

Two major-winning non-playing PGA captains will be announced shortly to help the teams with the selection of pairings and match play strategy, while caddies will wear Masters-style boiler suits with a number chosen by each player.​

For further information about the event, visit