WING Dafydd Howells is relishing going on the run with the Dragons after making it through some "dark days" with injury.

The 23-year-old made the move to Rodney Parade from the Ospreys this summer, keen to make a fresh start and to enjoy a change of fortune.

Howells burst onto the scene as an elusive teenager in 2013, making his regional debut against the Dragons in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in Newport, and his talent earned a Wales call for the tour to Japan that summer.

The speedster won two caps but a catalogue of injury problems meant he was unable to push on when he returned to the Liberty Stadium.

Howells has made it into double figures for appearances in just one season – 22 in 2016/17 – and last February he suffered a shoulder injury that ended his campaign.

He made a late return to pre-season training while he continued his rehab but, after featuring in the pre-season games against Northampton and Gloucester, the new boy has worn 14 on his back in the opening two rounds of the Guinness PRO14.

Not only that but Howells opened his account after just 68 seconds when he snaffled an interception against Benetton.

"After the injuries it is a fresh start and it's going well. A change of scenery is never a bad thing and it has worked out well for me, hopefully that will continue for the rest of the season," he said.

"I didn't expect to get straight in. I had a couple of warm-up games coming back from the previous injury and then I was straight in the deep end and away we go. I'm not complaining."

Howells had more than his fair share of misfortune at the Ospreys, enduring long-term ankle and hamstring injuries before last year's shoulder op.

"Mentally it can be tough coming back, especially off the back of two really big setbacks," said Howells.

"There are dark days, as many of the boys will tell you when you get injured, but the group of people you have around you, physios and support staff, is second to none.

"They will do all they can to help you get through and make the transition as easy as possible."

"This season is a new start. I've wiped the slate clean and I'm trying to forget what has happened in the past so I can concentrate on getting that weekly starting position," he continued.

"You try to forget [injuries] and concentrate on getting back to where I was in 2013. If I can do that then it will be massive.

"My pace is the same, I feel sharp and it's about getting that run of game and seeing where it gets me."

Howells is determined to enjoy a run of games on the Dragons' flank after forming a dangerous looking partnership in the back three with Hallam Amos and Jordan Williams.

And the winger hopes the region's runners can pose plenty of problems for champions Leinster in Dublin on Saturday night after ending an 11-month wait for a league win by beating Southern Kings 27-22 last weekend.

"As a group we are positive," he said. "We've got that monkey off our back and we can almost relax now and can push forward and get going with our season.

"The players we have got in the back line, the attack takes care of itself. You have Jordan making numerous line breaks and beating people for fun.

"When we get opportunities we know we have got the finishers to take them."

"It's a tough place to go but we will go out there and try and make it difficult for them," he continued. "We want to get in the game early and try to push forward.

"Ultimately we want to win. None of us are thinking we will go out there and just have a go. We are going as a team to win."