THE memory of trailing to a beefy Romanian back in freezing Bucharest means that there is no chance of Nic Cudd taking Timisoara Saracens lightly tomorrow afternoon.

The Dragons open their European Challenge Cup campaign at the Dan Paltinisanu Stadium (kick-off 12.30pm) and the expectation is that they will return to Wales with five points ahead of Friday's crunch home encounter with Northampton.

But as one of seven survivors in the matchday squad from the 2014 trip to the capital, openside flanker Cudd knows that attitude is key.

The Dragons faced a banana skin when they took on Bucharest Wolves four years ago with December snow, even in a country prepared for such conditions, forcing the game to be moved from the home of the national team to Ghencea Stadium.

The ground was in the shadow of Steaua Bucharest's rather more luxurious home and the changing rooms were so basic that the Dragons medical team opted not to stitch up a battered Cudd after the game, instead waiting until back at the team hotel.

Bucharest Wolves had caused Worcester, Newcastle and Stade Francais problems so it was a test of the Lyn Jones' side's character when they trailed 10-0 in the opening exchanges.

They stayed calm and took the spoils 37-10 with Ashley Smith, Rhys Thomas, James Thomas and Andrew Coombs (2) scoring tries.

The experience has been followed by encounters with Enisei-STM, enduring a humiliating 38-18 loss in Krasnodar two years ago and edging a 28-21 success in Moscow last season.

"From our experiences in Enisei, we can't be complacent," said Cudd. "They were a strong outfit and I can recollect from Bucharest that they started well.

"They took the lead twice against us, although we came back and won quite well in both games.

"No team is a walkover, you have to work hard for your wins, especially out there in strange territory.

"If you look at the other teams in our group (Clermont Auvergne and Northampton), we are targeting a bonus point win, but first we have to just go there with the mindset of winning.

"There will be some big guys in their side and there will be a lot of forward play and maul drives, while they have big backs as well to hit it up."

The Dragons qualified for the quarter-finals when they faced the Wolves in 2014/15 and repeated the trick the following season.

However, they are outsiders to make the knockout stages this time after being drawn with heavyweights Clermont, who are leading France's Top14, and the Saints.

"It's the second tier but teams seem to get stronger every year, especially in our group with Northampton and Clermont," said Cudd.

"It's surprising to see them in this competition and it will be a really hard test, but you never know in Europe because we have gone up against big teams before and turned them over, home and away.

"It will be good to play big games against big clubs in front of big crowds; I've always enjoyed European games and it is nice to play different opposition.

"It's a nice change from the league and in past seasons we have had some success. We've gone through to two semi-finals and it would be nice to have another run."