NEW boss Dean Ryan believes Munster away is the perfect place to find out his Dragons starting point – and can't wait to "dent" some teams in the Guinness PRO14.

The Rodney Parade region get their season under way at Thomond Park this afternoon (kick-off 3pm) and there aren't many tougher assignments.

They haven't won on Munster soil since the first season of regional rugby and the Irish province are protecting a formidable unbeaten home record that stretches back to December, 2017 in all competitions.

But the task isn't a daunting one for director of rugby Ryan, who is relishing the chance to test out his new charges after taking the reins this summer.

South Wales Argus:

"There is no hiding at Munster and we just want to understand where we are starting from," said the former England forward.

"It's an incredibly tough place to go and to do anything there we are going to have to play incredibly well.

"That doesn't worry us, we are just so keen to get going. We just have to get out there and play, we can't wait.

"We want to win every game. That starts with Munster, I believe if you prepare correctly then you have got every right to try and win a game. We just want to see where we are starting from."

Ryan, who succeeded former Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman, is testing himself in a new league after previously coaching Bristol, Gloucester and Worcester in the English Premiership.

"I am genuinely excited by the challenge of the PRO14," he said. "The tournament supports a little bit of a more free way of playing and I can't wait to get in it, understand it, see if we can get better in it and dent a few people."

South Wales Argus:

The Dragons headed to Limerick after one pre-season friendly – a five-try, 34-17 win against the Scarlets at Rodney Parade.

As encouraging as the performance was, Ryan knows that this afternoon provides the real gauge of their summer work.

He said: "It's been a long pre-season so to get out the field with the senior guys against the Scarlets was important, because I was running out of things to talk about!

"Playing in a competition and getting into it is crucial now, because we know there are lots of challenges at the Dragons, both on and off the field.

"We just want to know what the starting point is and then we can challenge ourselves to get better. "We won't really know that until we get into the tournament. We can then understand where we are and come back and work out how to do things in a different way or do them better."

The Dragons haven't won on the road in the PRO14 since March, 2015 – 44 games ago – and travel to Zebre next weekend before Ryan's first game in Newport against Connacht in round three.