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."
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