DEAN Ryan is relishing the chance to slug it out with Wasps and Bordeaux-Begles in Europe – but first the Dragons boss is concentrating on a Champions Cup level challenge against Munster in the Guinness PRO14.

The Rodney Parade region will welcome top English and French opposition to Newport in December after qualifying for the premier tournament for the first time since 2011.

The Dragons will go up against the team that were beaten in the Premiership final by Bristol and the club that were leading the Top 14 until coronavirus led to the cancellation of the 2019/20 campaign.

Ryan’s men are arguably the weakest in the Champions Cup but the director of rugby is relishing the chance to give some big guns a bloody nose.

“I think we can give anybody a serious game but we need all our best players available and we need to be at our best,” said the former back rower, who won the English title with Wasps in 1996/97.

"If we are below-par then we are not capable of performing against the quality of the Premiership or the Top 14.

“We've got a big international window before then and we hope we can get the Wales players back in and ready.

"We haven't dwelled on being daunted by who they (our opponents) are, we're going to enjoy it and we're excited to experience what Champions Cup rugby looks like.

“Rodney Parade is tough for anybody, so we look forward to welcoming them here.”

South Wales Argus:

The Dragons have home advantage on Sunday when they attempt to respond to a humbling by Ulster by standing up to Munster (kick-off 2pm).

The Irish province are three from three after beating the Scarlets and Edinburgh before Monday night’s success against Cardiff Blues in an excellent game in Limerick.

After failing to cope with the physicality of Leinster and Ulster, the Dragons face more of the same against Munster.

"We've got to come to terms with how to deal with some of these sides' power," admitted Ryan. "I know the group is looking for the answers.

"We are aware that when sides are really coming at us fast and are very powerful we are struggling at the moment to build a game that contains that.

"Whoever dreamt up the fixture list had us nicely teed up with Leinster, Ulster and Munster!

"We know what is coming and we shouldn't shy away from it. It's our challenge to come up with answers and we have to be smarter about why teams are in our 22.

"We are bringing them in too easily, whether through penalties or mistakes.

"The Irish sides are very direct, very powerful and we have to deal with that.

"There are lots of ways of doing that and reducing the amount of times they get into the 22 would be a good start.

"I don't think anybody lacks effort in terms of trying to get in front of them to stop them but we can be smarter."