Newport Gwent Dragons coach Paul Turner believes his players must tap into the feel-good factor at Rodney Parade
The Dragons kick off their Magners League campaign with a home tie against Glasgow Warriors and Turner admits he is delighted with the way his new-look side is shaping up. "I am pretty excited about what lies in store for us as a region," he said. "We have recruited well over the summer and I can feel the buzz around the place.
"There is always a sense of high-expectancy around Rodney Parade and for that you cannot fault our loyal supporters. I know that the players are keen to get out on the field and make a strong start to the season.
New signing Tom Willis takes over from Wales and Dragons veteran Colin Charvis as captain this season and the All Black hooker says he cannot wait to start his new career following his move from Waikato Chiefs.
Willis said: "We've been working very hard for the last two months with the physical conditioning and re-tuning our game. We want to make a statement and we can't wait for the kick off."
Willis joins new recruits Marc Stcherbina, Tal Selley, Rory Sidey and James Arlidge in making their debuts for the Gwent region.
Dragons: A Smith, T Selley, R Sidey, M Stcherbina, R Fussell, J Arlidge, W Evans; A Black, T Willis (capt), R Thomas, A Jones, L Charteris, J Bearman, L Evans, R Parks
Replacements: H Gustafson, L Harrison, J Ringer, G Webb, S Connor, G Maule, R Lewis
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.
The WRU officially unveiled the new pitch today in time for Wales to take on Australia in the first of the Dove Men Series autumn international matches this Saturday. Head Groundsman Lee Evans and colleague Craig Campbell reflect on the 15-week project and look ahead to a pitch perfect future at Millennium Stadium.