Dragons ready for Percy and Perpignan
November 6, 2007
Newport Gwent Dragons coach Paul Turner is relishing a reunion with former Rodney Parade favourite Percy Montgomery - but hopes he can catch the World Cup winner and Perpignan cold.
The South African full back finished the RWC 2007 tournament with a winners medal as well as being the leading points scorer after enjoying mixed fortunes during a three-year stint at the Welsh region.
And the Dragons, who qualified through a victory over Calvisano in the 24th play-off match, hope they can spring a surprise in Pool 1 in much the same way they did at Perpignan three seasons ago.
"It is always a huge and physical battle in the south of France and we would expect no difference this time around," said Turner.
"They have recruited like you wouldn't believe and signing someone of the calibre of Montgomery says it all. But we won't be lying down. We have a good work ethic and know what to expect so hopefully we can start off with a bang and catch them by surprise."
The Dragons go on to face London Irish and Italian champions Benetton Treviso - two teams Turner was certainly cautious about meeting.
"Italian rugby has come on in leaps and bounds with sides like Treviso having a huge southern hemisphere influence," added Turner.
"Having watched them in the past, I know it is not an easy place to go and play while London Irish I know all about from my decade in England. The games against them are going to be big but it's certainly a group we can get our teeth into."
HEINEKEN CUP 2007 / 2008 - (All kick-offs LOCAL times)
FRIDAY 9 NOVEMBER, 2007
* Delayed ** Highlights *** Live via interactive
Firdose Moonda talks to Rob Louw about the difficulties of being a South African touring New Zealand at the height of Apartheid
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games