IT'S been all change at the Dragons this summer and it's going to be all change with this column.

I've done it for two seasons and I'm looking forward to continuing to give a bit of an insight in the coming campaign, but this year there's also going to be the viewpoint from a back with Adam Hughes sharing the duty.

They are different – and more soft – creatures so it will be good to get the perspective from another local boys at the start of a new era for the Dragons.

I'd say that Hughesy is as grumpy as me, just with more grey hairs to show it.

I expect good things from him this season and I think, along with Gavin Henson and Zane Kirchner, he has an important role to play as one of the more experienced backs who has experienced a quality environment in Exeter.

I look forward to seeing what he comes up with in his first column next week because he is an intelligent and articulate guy, although I worry that he might be more suited to numbers rather than words given how shrewd (tight) he is with money.

Hopefully he will be able to talk about a flying start to the season with Leinster heading to Rodney Parade for our Guinness PRO14 opener tomorrow afternoon.

Sadly I won't be part of it after a frustrating pre-season but I hope to be back out on the pitch soon.

It has been incredibly annoying to be sidelined after looking forward so much to starting afresh after all the changes of the summer.

Bernard Jackman had come in as new head coach and there were new support mechanisms from the Welsh Rugby Union, who have shown they mean business since taking over by giving more off-field resources to help us kick on.

I was looking forward to having the chance to impress a new coach who had told us that the slate had been wiped clean and that there were no preconceptions.

But on day three of pre-season I had an Achilles strain and sadly it has turned me into Bradley Wiggins this summer with plenty of cycling on the pitchside.

It's been frustrating to have to watch the rest of the boys working on our new style of attack and getting to grips with a new defensive structure.

Inevitably there have been a few teething problems in what was always going to be a tough pre-season against quality sides in Montpellier, Northampton, Exeter and Glasgow – it takes time for such things to settle down and there have been different combinations tried by the coaches.

Everybody has been desperate to impress and it's been a great environment for the players.

Bernard is challenging us and has raised the standards – everybody has a role and responsibilities.

We are all accountable and there are no hiding places. If you don't do your job then someone else will.

I spoke to Bernard earlier in the summer and said that the ability is in the changing room, we just need to change the mindset.

Rome wasn't built in a day but I'm very positive that things are on the up and there is no better challenge for us than Leinster at home first up.

Another change this summer has been that Cory Hill is now captain rather than me and I look forward to supporting him in any way that I can.

Cory had a fantastic 2016/17 to get capped and grow into one of our major players. He is our lineout caller, a leader and one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Last season I was lucky to have TRT and Nick Crosswell there for advice and help. They were fantastic for me and I aim to be the same for Cory along with the likes of Hughesy, Ollie Griffiths and others.