Hungry Dee looks forward to big month


Fit-again hooker Elliot Dee is targeting a big month for Dragons RFC in domestic and European competition.

Wales international Dee made a successful comeback in the recent BKT United Rugby Championship home fixture with Connacht after four months on the sidelines.

The 29-year-old – fast approaching 150 caps for his home club – has fully recovered from a collarbone and subsequent knee surgery and has plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks.

Derby day with Ospreys takes centre stage on Saturday, March 25 before the big EPCR Challenge Cup showdown with Glasgow Warriors a week later on Saturday, April 1.

“It’s a big few weeks for us,” stated Dee. “The stop-start nature of the season has been another thing to deal with, but we are looking forward with excitement.

“It’s nice to have a derby to look forward to first. We beat the Ospreys at home so it would be nice to get a double.

“We know how good they will be at home and there is always a little bit of extra spice in these derbies. It always feels special.

“They will be strong at home; we are prepping for that. We’re focussed on trying to get a result down there.

“The other game coming around fast is the last 16 game with Glasgow.

“It was nice to get through the group stages and we’d like to go up to Scotland and progress further in the knockout stages.”

Dee has been limited to eight appearances this season, but he looked back to his best during a 30-minute all-action appearance against Connacht at the start of the month.

“It was lovely to come back and play at Rodney Parade,” he smiled. “It was a positive to get a decent number of minutes and I felt pretty good out there.

“I’d felt good in training in the lead up to it too. Sometimes, when you are injured, there is a little bit of doubt, what if I don’t get back to the standard I was at before.

“But as soon as I trained, I felt I was back to where I wanted to be and competing well. I felt hungry to get playing and like I’d missed playing. Now I want to find my best form again.”

Reflecting on the season, Dee insists the club must take the positives and look to build on the brand of rugby they have been playing.

“There has been progression this season,” he stressed. “If you look at rugby as a whole, the game has got so much harder over the last two or three years.

“There is growth everywhere. The league has got a lot better; teams have got better and there are no easy games now. It is a test every week.

“We’ve really grown and pushed on here. It has been a great atmosphere under Dai (Flanagan).

“I think previously some boys were maybe in their shells, a little bit worried to make mistakes. I think everyone is freer now and you can see that in our performances.

“We haven’t always got the result, but I think people can appreciate we’re working hard, digging in and we’re playing a nicer and more exciting brand of rugby than we have for the last few years."

As soon as I trained, I felt I was back to where I wanted to be and competing well... I felt hungry to get playing and like I’d missed playing... Now I want to find my best form again...
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