Edwards was pleased with the Dragons performance despite falling to a shock loss
Darren Edwards reckons there are plenty of positives to take from Newport Gwent Dragons loss to Gwent Select XV.
The region were shocked in their first pre-season friendly at Rodney Parade as the semi-professional invitational team inflicted a 16-10 defeat..
Gwent Select were made up from players at the region's Principality Premiership clubs and many were playing for professional contracts.
Edwards was pleased with their showing and despite the Dragons' loss he was positive about the performance, revealing the players went through three gruelling sessions on the previous day.
"I'm really pleased because we trained three times on Friday and got the guys out there on Saturday to see what kind of mental attitude they would turn up with.
"In terms of attitude it was excellent. They battled really hard and that was important that we got an edge so that we stay there and battle hard.
"Patterns of play and the style of things is not a concern for us at the moment. We want to make sure we are mentally tough so that we can go toe-to-toe with people. That was a physical Premier-ship team and it was a classical physical match."
Tom Prydie, Dan Evans and Ian Nimmo all made their debuts for the Dragons. Edwards was impressed by their performances and that of hooker Hugh Gustafson, who has converted from propping.
"I was particularly happy with our new players," said Edwards
"Ian Nimmo did well in the second row. Dan Evans and Tom Prydie looked very comfortable and as if they had played with us for seasons, which is pleasing.
"If you think that was Hugh Gustafson's first stint at hooker out there. We put him under pressure and he's dealing with it. It's great."
A host of Gwent Select players have trained with the region over the summer and Edwards hopes to continue building the close relationships.
"This has been an important process because 12 of those players trained with us over the off season," added Edwards.
"They are not just names playing for other teams now. We know them personally and we will be looking out for them.
"The attitude these guys came here with showed they want to play for the Dragons and that was the important thing about the match. Now I've got a pool of players that has just expanded by another team.
"That's important, I can call on people and hopefully give some of these guys full professional contracts in the future.
"They were superb. Whatever you say about rugby, it's about attitude and commitment first. That's why I would have no problem putting a number of these guys into our team, because they've got that."
Meet the members of the WRU's inaugural Youth Board - after an online selection process which saw a host of high calibre candidates submit video applications the WRU has made its first 15 appointments.The board is made up of individuals aged between 16 and 21, and will meet for the first time at Principality Stadium on Monday 15th February.
The Wales Women's team headed to Dare Valley Country Park on a team bonding exercise as the entire squad got together for the very first time in preparation for this season's Six Nations championship which kicks off on Saturday with a clash against defending champions Ireland, in Donnybrook.
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland discusses his team selection for the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations where he leads his side against Ireland, on Sunday. As WRU TV's Luke Brodley discovers, Gatland is fully aware of the challenges the defending champions pose
WRUTV caught up with Wales Women captain Rachel Taylor at the RBS 6 Nations launch and how a good crowd really helps boost the girls performance. Tickets for all three Women's home games at The Gnoll, Neath are available from www.wru.wales/tickets