ZANE Kirchner is desperate to provide value on the pitch in the Dragons’ Guinness PRO14 run-in as the former Springboks full-back prepares to make his return to action.

The 33-year-old will start in the unfamiliar position of fly-half in this afternoon’s Anglo-Welsh Cup fixture against Saracens at Allianz Park (kick-off 3pm).

Kirchner signed from European heavyweights Leinster last summer but has been limited to just three outings after dislocating his shoulder making a tackle against Connacht in September.

The 31-times capped South Africa international has provided value off the pitch when mentoring the region’s next generation of backs but now he wants to show his worth back in his boots.

“You want to add value,” said Kirchner. “Off the field I have done a bit of that but, like anything in life, people only measure you on your deeds.

“You can speak as much as you want to but at the end of the day your work is what you will be judged on.

“Being a professional rugby player, you are judged between the four lines and coming to a new squad and environment I wanted to add value. Hopefully I can do that now, with injuries in the past.

“You don’t mind supporting the boys but you’d like to lend more of a hand between the four lines.”

Kirchner has a wealth of experience from Test rugby and from playing at the highest level with the Blue Bulls and Leinster.

He passed some of that knowledge on to the Dragons young guns when helping out as a member of the management team for the British & Irish Cup, a role that also showed you can teach an old dog new tricks.

“It was good because it kept my mind going and took it away from the frustration of not being involved,” said Kirchner.

“Rehab is probably one of the most frustrating times for any sportsperson but it kept my mind busy and gave me a bit of insight into how you deal with different personalities.

“It wasn’t ideal being out for close to four months but I’ve learnt a bit off the field so I will try and incorporate that now on the pitch.”

Kirchner played fly-half at college in South Africa but his professional career has predominantly been spent at full-back with occasional appearances on the wing or midfield.

He will have 10 on his back today and is relishing the chance to blow away the cobwebs.

“It’s getting the mind going again, because I will probably be a little bit of the pace in terms of thinking process and seeing things,” said Kirchner.

“There is also gaining the physical confidence that my shoulder is good and it’s about gradually progressing and building the minutes.”