PROP Aaron Jarvis says a summer operation left him playing catch-up at the start of his Dragons career but that he's now fit and ready to fight for a start.

The 32-year-old arrived at Rodney Parade from French giants Clermont Auvergne last summer but his bid to make a flying start back in Wales was ended by a ruptured bicep in pre-season.

He made a rapid recovery – faster than the conditioning team had expected – to make his regional debut in the round four Guinness PRO14 encounter with Zebre but he is yet to make a start.

The former Wales prop has had to settle for seven cameos off the bench and despite wearing 3 on his back in the friendly win against Russia last weekend, another replacement role is likely in Sunday's vital clash with Edinburgh in Newport.

However, Jarvis believes he is starting to hit his straps at the Dragons and is keen to pile the pressure on Wales tighthead Leon Brown and Lloyd Fairbrother.

"It's been a tough start and rupturing my bicep halfway through pre-season certainly didn't' help," said the 18-times capped front rower, who can also play loosehead and covered hooker at the last World Cup.

"I've enjoyed it here but it was a tough moment being out for nine or ten weeks, missing preparation and then watching Browner and Lloyd play really well.

"You just have to be patient and keep working hard, then a game like Russia was perfect for me and was the chance for a first start to get match fitness.

"You can do as much running as you want in training but nothing compares to that and I was happy to get out there.

"You are always playing catch-up after an injury in pre-season that forces you to miss the first few games, but that's not an excuse. Fair play, Lloyd and Browner have done well and it means I've got a lot of work to do."

Jarvis joined forces with loosehead Ryan Bevington, hooker Rhys Lawrence and locks Joe Davies and Rynard Landman in an experienced tight five against the Bears.

The Dragons ran out 38-24 winners against Russia's second string in Bedwas with the prop hailing the value of the friendly fixture.

"It was physical and a good blow-out, so it was definitely useful for me and the boys that haven't had as much game time," he said.

"It's always easier to show what you can do in a game, especially against a side like Russia, who were physical, strong boys.

"It was good to get a win and build some confidence as well. We've got a tough period coming up and we know that we need to start it well against Edinburgh.

"Winning builds confidence and in patches we were good; there are still things to work on but we are definitely on the right track."

Nonetheless, the Dragons are in dire need of a win after a run of four losses since beating Zebre.

Heavy losses at Ulster and Connacht means that they return to league rugby bottom of Conference B and with a lower points tally than any team in Conference A.

"We need to get a win then it's into Leinster, then it's the Challenge Cup against Northampton and Clermont, who are probably Champions Cup standard," said Jarvis.

"It's a busy period and one that we are looking forward to because confidence is still high and we are still playing some good rugby.

"Against Connacht we started well but then switched off for 10 minutes. We can't keep chasing games but we are going in the right direction.

"We just need a win to change everything and hopefully the Russia game helped us towards that.

"We are building a good culture and work hard for each other. Results might not have reflected that but we will definitely get there."