THE Dragons will be wary of a new boss bounce when they head to Belfast in the United Rugby Championship next weekend.

The Rodney Parade club profited from a change at the top last season when Dai Flanagan took the reins from Dean Ryan.

The Dragons won three of six games – a good success rate by their standards – under the head coach in his first block at the helm.

They haven’t hit those heights since and will travel to Ravenhill a week on Saturday aiming for a first away win of another tough campaign, and they will face an Ulster side in between bosses.

The Irish province parted company with Dan McFarland on Wednesday and have appointed Ireland Under-20s head coach Richie Murphy until the end of the campaign.

However, he is currently spearheading the bid for a Six Nations Grand Slam so won’t be calling the shots against the Dragons.

That responsibility goes to assistant coach Dan Soper for what is realistically a must-win clash for the Ulstermen.

They are eighth in the URC after a last-gasp loss to the Ospreys in Swansea that probably cost McFarland his job.

Ulster, who failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions Cup and instead travel to Montpellier in the last 16 of the Challenge Cup, would have gone fourth but are instead sweating on their place in the play-offs given that a double-header in South Africa is looming.

The Dragons have lost their last 11 games in Belfast, a miserable record stretching back to a 22-22 draw in 2010. They have won twice in 19 games at Ravenhill - 16-14 in 2008 and 28-21 in 2004.

With that dismal record and a squad hit hard by injury and Wales call-ups, few will be expecting Flanagan's men to break their duck on the road in 2023/24.