IT'S another derby day for us in Swansea tomorrow and we are determined to show that last week's performance in Russia was an anomaly.

There's no getting away from the disappointment of the result against Enisei and it was a wasted opportunity; it makes our qualification task harder in the European Rugby Challenge Cup but it's still in our own hands.

A lot has been made about the changes made but we had a strong team out there full of starters but for whatever reason the performance wasn't up to the standards that we have been setting recently.

While we haven't got the wins we would like in the Guinness Pro12, we have played pretty well and in our European opener we were superb against Brive when scoring five tries.

It's up to us to show what we are about against the Ospreys; we could've, should've won at the Scarlets a few weeks back and we need to head west with the same attitude again.

They will be missing a few world class players and we know that they base their game around their strong spine of the likes of Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar/Sam Davies.

The Ospreys have Dan Lydiate and Scott Baldwin back but are without most of their Wales squad players ahead of the autumn. There's no denying that they will be lacking a bit of that star quality but we saw how they started the season when resting a few internationals after their summer tour, so it's still a big challenge for us.

The Ospreys are not just a XV, they have a squad of quality players but it has to be all about us this week. We didn't perform in Russia and want to show we are a dangerous side and develop the attacking game that has been coming together.

We won't have Hallam Amos or Tyler Morgan this weekend and now we won't be able to field Cory Hill, who was called into the Wales squad.

The whole squad was chuffed for him and Cory is a fantastic lineout forward, a good worker around the field and a nice bloke off it.

He has clearly impressed the Wales coaches after being invited to join training, so hopefully he can adapt to their way of play while doing what has earned him the chance in the first place. It goes to show that if the team performs well, the better the likelihood of getting boys into the Welsh squad While they have been in Wales camp, we have been preparing hard for the Liberty Stadium with the help of our transition group, who are continuing to develop and improve.

At times we go flat out against the next generation of Dragons at our training base in Ystrad Mynach and they are really testing us.

It's an opportunity for them to impress the watching coaches but it also invaluable for us as it allows us to try new and tweak old moves for the team that we are playing this week.

Everyone is a winner – it's a good learning process for us and they get to react to how a regional pack goes about things.

It makes us better and you can definitely see promising individuals making progress. I've seen fly-half Arwel Robson developing at Newport RFC, he is a young kid who wants to take on the world and has a lot of ability with plenty of confidence, constantly trying to step or gas me!

Centre Barney Nightingale has really come on from last year and now we can see him playing with confidence and his ability developing, which is great to see. He scored a hat-trick for the Dragons Premiership Select XV against Ealing last weekend, demonstrating this.

Up front there's the likes of Josh Skinner, who is a right pain in the backside in training – which many flankers are, so it's great for us to have practice against that!

All the youngsters are still learning to train and it's a case of understanding the process of how to train like a pro.

I like the fact they get involved as much as possible because when I was 18 rather than being sent off into the abyss I was full-time training with the likes of Michael Owen, Colin Charvis, Jamie Ringer, Richard Parks, Joe Bearman...

Watching them and testing myself against those back row forwards on a daily basis who had proven themselves was a massive help and played a huge part in me becoming a regional starter myself at the age of 20.

South Wales Argus:

IT'S important for the fans to get to know some of our new guys, so here is a chance to learn a bit about our big right winger Pat Howard.

Q: How's life in Wales? Has it been nice to have a few of the boys from South Africa here to welcome you?

A: Life in Wales is nice, very comfortable, and it has been a great help to have some fellow Saffas around to help me settle. They've been very accommodating and have made it an easier first few months.

Q: Was it easy to settle into the Dragons playing style and the Guinness Pro12? Is there much difference to other rugby cultures?

A: Having played at a few different clubs, I haven't found the Dragons to be all that different other than perhaps the doggedness that comes from being an 'underdog' team.

The whole vibe in the camp is also a lot more chilled and stress-free than I've experienced. The coaches are a lot more approachable.

I'm very impressed with the Dragons' ability to beat any side despite being labelled as underdogs.

Q: You have had a great start to the season, what are your personal and team aims for the club?

A: I am aiming to play as much as I can this season and to continue to improve aspects of my own game.

With regards to the team aims, I believe we can become a top-half team consistently and shake off the underdog status. I want other teams to see us as force to be reckoned with.

Q: At the start of the season after we beat Zebre, something you said may have been slightly 'lost in translation'. The manner of the win frustrated the team as much as the fans, so what did you mean?

A: Yes, definitely lost in translation, I think it was my accent! I simply meant that the team realised the mistakes we'd made, but the booing and negativity after the win against Zebre really was a downer on our confidence and energy.

Confidence is a vital part of our attempt to create a winning culture at the Dragons and we're going to need every bit of support and energy.

This is not to say the fans have not given us that, they have stuck with the Dragons through years of disappointments and this is commendable.

Any player will attest to the fact that the fans provide a massive portion of the energy they have in game. They can quite literally be the difference in a tight game. I hope we can produce the kind of rugby our fans will be proud to shout for.

Cheers for the interview mate, all the best this year. See you in the Lamb soon!