ROBSON Blake aims to take a hefty Bordeaux-Begles pack on at their own game tonight as he fights for his Dragons future.

The strong-running back row forward is in his first season as a professional

after catching the eye with Bedwas in the Principality Premiership.

The 22-year-old was handed a one-year deal by previous boss Kingsley Jones and put his career as a tree surgeon on hold.

Blake, who played against Leicester, Newcastle and Gloucester in the Anglo-Welsh Cup last season,

returned early in the summer for extras with the conditioning team but his season was derailed on his first start.

The number eight was smashed in a tackle by

Ulster tighthead Rodney Ah You and suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him

until December.

“I had a bit of a floaty pass from Dorian [Jones] and next thing you know I was in a world of pain! He was a big old unit,” said Blake.

“The injury was hard to start with mentally, it knocked my confidence a bit, but I am back and hopefully I’ll have a good game in Bordeaux.”

The chance to shine in the European Challenge Cup clash in France (kick-off 8pm) is a welcome one given that Blake has been denied the opportunity to make an impression on Bernard Jackman, who replaced Kingsley Jones in the summer.

The head coach has already recruited two back-row forwards for next season in

Lions ace Ross Moriarty and Worcester prospect Huw Taylor, so every minute counts.

Blake, who came off the bench in the derby losses to the Ospreys and Scarlets, added: “I can’t wait for my opportunity. I am fighting for my place here for next year when there are a lot of new signings and new back rowers coming in.

“I’ve got to show what I am made of. Hopefully it goes well and I am still here next year.

“The signings are good

because it brings strength to the squad, and Ross is a Lion so it would be nice to learn a bit off him.”

He continued: “I am out of contract this year and I’m playing for my position.

“I had a bit of a chat with Bernard the other day.

“He said that because of my injury he hasn’t seen me play much and that he is looking at this as an opportunity for me to show what I am made of.

“That’s what I am going to do.”

Bordeaux are sure to take the game to the Dragons up front, putting the squeeze on in the set-piece.

The Frenchmen will also look to overpower their visitors but the prospect of

going on the charge is an

appetising one for Blake.

“I’ll be honest, I’d rather not do a lineout and not do a scrum and just get the ball in my hands and carry all day long,” he said.

“I’d like to think that I provide something different to the other back rowers, that’s why I am here, so hopefully I can show that.”