DRAGONS new boy Nick Tompkins is relishing another chance to sharpen up ahead of his showdown with the English Premiership's hottest property.

The Rodney Parade region end their 2019/20 Guinness PRO14 campaign against the Scarlets in Newport on Saturday (kick-off 5.15pm).

They then enjoy a short break until their European Challenge Cup quarter-final clash with Bristol at Ashton Gate, which could throw up a fascinating head-to-head at outside centre.

Tompkins, one of the stars of the Six Nations, may go up against Fijian ace Semi Radradra, who caused mayhem for the Bears at Gloucester last weekend.

The summer signing from Bordeaux-Begles, man of the match against Wales in the World Cup last year, made 16 carries, scored one try, set up two and ran for 147 metres.

South Wales Argus: STAR: Bristol centre Semi RadradraSTAR: Bristol centre Semi Radradra

"To be honest you expect nothing less from a player of his standing and what he can do," said Tompkins, who is on a year-long loan from Saracens.

"You don't really focus on these players too much but obviously he is somebody that you watch and try and figure out what he is going to try and do.

"You go low and close your eyes! Any player, it doesn't matter how good you are, if you are under enough pressure then you will make mistakes.

"Everybody goes down. I have faced a lot of big ball carriers in my time and you have to go low, you have to go hard and you have to put them under pressure.

"It's no different to anybody else and I've had enough big lads running into me – Billy Vunipola for one."


South Wales Argus: Dragons new boy Nick TompkinsDragons new boy Nick Tompkins

Tompkins lined up against Test teammate Owen Watkin last weekend in the draw at the Ospreys.

He is poised for another Welsh showdown against a Scarlets squad that boast Steff Hughes and Dragons old boy Tyler Morgan as options, with Lions ace Jonathan Davies continuing on the comeback trail from a knee injury.

"What these games are great for is that they highlight problems that we haven't spoken about before," said Tompkins. "They are getting talked about and fixed.

"It's getting us in the right mind frame and sorting out little details and tweaks that will sharpen us up."

Tompkins took the field for the first time since impressing in Wales' Six Nations defeat to England at Twickenham in March.

"You just have to blow the rust off and get into it. You could see that the boys were anxious to do things and maybe forced it," said Tompkins.

"That's just from being so excited to be back out there and those nerves from not being there for a long time.

South Wales Argus: Nick Tompkins helps bring down Justin TipuricNick Tompkins helps bring down Justin Tipuric

"These games are really important because of that. We are a new group with new calls, so I am pretty happy with how it went because of all those factors.

"You want to see the bar raised now and if it isn't then we need to look at ourselves and have a word. You've got to learn and improve every game."

Tompkins linked up with the Dragons in July and intends to make a big impact before returning to Saracens after their season in the English Championship.

“It’s been brilliant. Everything that I hoped for,” he said when reflecting on his first two months as a Dragon.

“Dean (Ryan, director of rugby) has been brilliant, the coaching has been brilliant and everybody has been really welcoming.

“The drive is there; when you come into a youngish group you worry that there might be a lack of direction but there is a definite direction here.

“Because it’s a young group, there are so many boys who are eager to learn and push. I haven’t come to a club that is set in its ways, I’ve come to one building on something.

“I hope to be tiny part of that and I am proud to be involved.”