IT WOULD be understandable if Jamie Smith’s calendar had a circle around Newport Gwent Dragons’ trip to Belfast on February 10 but the full-back insists he is setting no targets as he continues his comeback from injury.

The full-back has made just one appearrance since he arrived at Rodney Parade from Ulster last summer – a 21-minute cameo off the bench against Leinster in Dublin in September.

Injuries to his back and both hamstrings have caused the Northern Irishman to cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines.

But the 23-year-old from Ballymena finally made his comeback when he played 55 minutes for Bedwas against Bridgend on January 7 and he played the full 80 for Newport at Tonmawr last weekend.

“That was my first full game since April and I now am hoping to push on,” said Smith.

“It has been a tough time since moving here but thankfully I am back training and getting game time.

“The heavy pitches aren’t particularly good for the hamstrings but it doesn’t matter where you play, it’s all about getting the lungs working and the skills going.

“I haven’t spoken about targets with anyone. The important thing is to just get games under my belt.

“Obviously I’d love to go back to Ravenhill but, honestly, it doesn’t matter to me where I am playing at the moment, I just want to get out on the pitch.

“It’s so frustrating when you are not playing and all you are doing is rehab, it messes with your head a bit.

“And in some ways the worst part is when you have friends back home asking why are you not playing and when you will be back.

“It hasn’t been ideal start to life with the Dragons but that’s the way it goes. It is never going to be plain sailing all the time as a sportsman.”

Smith’s injury has led to Martyn Thomas making the number 15 jersey his own and the Irishman acknowledges he will have his work cut out to wrestle it away from him.

“I don’t think that Martyn has made a mistake all season and he has been one of our standout players,” he said.

“He is playing so well and it will be hard to take his spot but all I can do is show good form in the Premiership.”