Dragons wing Adam Hughes champing at the bit after enduring ‘hardest few weeks of career’
8:02am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in Sport
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons wing Adam Hughes intends to take his frustrations out on Zebre after being called in from the cold for tomorrow's RaboDirect Pro12 clash at Rodney Parade (kick-off 7.15pm).
The 23-year-old has been mainstay of the side over the past three seasons, racking up 71 appearances and being one of the first names on the teamsheet when fit.
But he has been a fringe player so far in 2013/14 with just 24 minutes of action in two cameo appearances in the closing stages of the win against the Scarlets and loss to Munster.
Two home wins from two has ensured a buoyant mood at Rodney Parade.
Hughes admits he has found it hard to share that joy but tomorrow he gets an opportunity to be a part of things when he makes his first start against Zebre.
"For the team the season has been great, there's been a rise in public support for the team and growing crowds on the terraces and the environment has been really positive," he said.
"For me it's been tough, probably the hardest few weeks of my career. I've been on the bench and travelling reserve after having probably my best ever pre-season.
"It's been tough to take but I have had to stay positive, train hard and keep going. The coaches said there was a clean slate, everyone would get a chance and you have to take it.
"I've been lucky enough to play over 70 games in just over three years. I am used to playing and this has made me hungrier and I've worked and trained harder."
Hughes joked that a cover tackle against the Scarlets at least ensured he didn't mirror John Terry, the Chelsea captain who donned full kit to join in Champions League celebrations despite not playing.
But tomorrow he wants to impress his new boss with ball in hand to retain a starring role in the new-look Dragons set-up.
"There is a freshness this season," he said. "Lyn's attention to detail, both in terms of looking at the opposition and our game, has improved us all as players.
"He will analyse every step you take, every pass you make and makes you think more about everything.
"Lyn is a funny guy and spirit in the camp is good but he is also a really honest guy and will certainly tell you if you do something wrong.
"I need to show Lyn what I can do against Zebre after missing the boat at the start of the season and seeing others do well.
"I couldn't complain, I just had to bid my time and stay positive. That was tough but now I've got my chance and if I don't take it then I can have no excuses."
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