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Groves aims to stake first-team claim

Guinness PRO12 Editor

7 Feb 2012


With Wales’ fearsome back-row duo Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau away on Six Nations duty, Jevon Groves is hoping to take full advantage and force his way into the Dragons’ starting XV as the RaboDirect PRO12 kicks back into action this week.

Not that the 23-year-old is too fussed where he plays having filled in at lock following injuries to Luke Charteris and Scott Morgan in recent games.

The Wales under-20 international, who also plays for Welsh Premiership side Cross Keys, has a British and Irish Cup semi-final against Cornish Pirates at the beginning of April to look forward to but his immediate focus is impressing Dragons coach Darren Edwards ahead of Friday’s trip to Ulster.

But the former Cardiff Blues academy prospect knows the task of dislodging those in front of him is a mammoth one.

He said: "My aim is to get more starting appearances for the Dragons and break into the team for the RaboDirect.

"It's not going to be easy because Dan [Lydiate] and Toby [Faletau] are world class players. It'll be good to learn from them, but they'll be away with Wales and even if I can be number two to them I'll be quite happy.

"I don't mind playing at lock, I just want to get on the field. I played a bit there for Wales under-20s and I was an understudy there for the Six Nations and for the World Cup when it was played in Swansea. A few others with the Dragons can play in different positions, like Lewis Evans.

"It's still a great opportunity for me to play at the top level. The youngsters are ambitious and hungry and it bodes well for the competitiveness of the squad which will push us on as a team."