IT’S fair to say that it has been a few weeks of off-field uncertainty at the Dragons but as players we just have to stick together and crack on for a big period of derbies.

The initial concern among the squad at the start of December was about the proposed changes in Welsh rugby regarding contracts for players.

The idea under the new arrangement between the WRU and the regions is that individuals will be put into specific pay bands to try and curb wage inflation.

I understand that looking after costs is essential in any business but it was a concerning time, and I am sure that was the case at Cardiff Blues, the Ospreys and Scarlets as well.

It seemed as though we hadn’t really been involved in the discussions until late on in the day and it obviously meant that clarity was needed and boys, especially those who will be out of contract, needed reassurances.

That uncertainty made it an eventful week or so, and then there was another bombshell with the news that our boss was not going to remain with us.

Bernard Jackman arrived in the summer of 2017 with the attitude to develop youngsters and a fair few have benefited from that. He also brought in a more structured and methodical approach to the gameplan with roles and more accountability.

But results haven’t been good and Bernard has gone, so there is more uncertainty and we just have to wait while the board and WRU make their decision about who is coming in next.

It was a strange week and I suppose it was similar to the time that we were set to play Gloucester in the Challenge Cup quarter-final and director of rugby Lyn Jones was not around.

That time we upset the odds at Kingsholm and last week the boys put in a battling performance at Clermont Auvergne that gives us some confidence for tonight at Cardiff Blues.

The boys rallied well and had a licence to play expansively and enjoy it. It will be similar at the Arms Park as we try to end that long derby losing streak.

The coaching team have an opportunity to take the bull by the horns and really put their stamp on things over the next few weeks while the powers that be decide on the next coach.

I suppose it is something of a clean slate for them as well until the end of the season and rugby is no different to any other business in that people come and go, there are new bosses and personnel that change over from time to time.

All we can do is make sure that this season doesn’t just drift off and the derbies are a great opportunity to set up the second half of the campaign.

We are underdogs with nothing to fear, we just need to attack and see what happens.

I’m on the bench and my versatility means I cover both the back row and lock – it depends on the match situation where I will play.

I hope that we can finish the game strongly unlike our previous encounter, when we were right in it until the final quarter.

The Blues did well recently against Saracens despite suffering a pair of defeats and we know that they will present a tough challenge on their own (plastic) turf.

But we are determined to really attack the game – we cannot go with a cautious approach and we don’t want to leave the pitch with any regrets.

Our last PRO14 derby win was in Cardiff, hopefully we can repeat that to perfectly set up our battles with the Ospreys and Scarlets.