Screech hoping to be Coombs-like in the Dragons boilerhouse
8:02am Friday 11th October 2013 in Sport
MATTHEW Screech will try and do his best impression of Newport Gwent Dragons captain Andrew Coombs when he makes his European debut against Mogliano this evening (kick-off 7.15pm), writes Chris Kirwan
The 20-year-old lock slots in for the skipper, who misses out after suffering an ankle injury in last weekend's win against Zebre.
Screech has made a rapid rise at Rodney Parade after being released by Cardiff Blues at the end of last season.
The former Wales Under-20s star has played in every game and has impressed the coaching staff with his work rate and appetite for learning.
And he hopes that another solid showing in the Amlin Challenge Cup opener against Mogliano will ensure the Dragons aren't hit too hard by the absence of Coombs.
"Andrew is somebody that I look up to," said Screech, who started along the six-times capped Wales forward against Ulster, the Scarlets and Munster.
"He is just everywhere on the pitch, he is loud, he is a leader, he is energetic and he has big moments in games. I'll just try and replicate what he does.
"I'll just get my head down, work hard and do the best that I can."
It's not just Coombs that Screech is learning off at the Dragons, former Wales internationals Robert Sidoli and Adam Jones are mentors as well as rivals for starts.
It's Sidoli that he will pack down next to against the Italian minnows tonight, much to Screech's excitement.
"It's going to be great starting alongside Robert and hopefully I will form a good partnership with him," he said.
"He came in against Zebre and did a really good job with the lineout. It's great working with him in training, I just try to take everything that I can off him.
"I feel that I am improving all the time and Lyn and Kingsley (Jones, coaches) are working all the time with me to try and put the finer details in place.
"They make me conscious of everything that I do – playing low, rolling in contact and ways of removing people at the breakdown.
"I just try and take on board their advice and hope it shows on the field. I'll play to the best of my ability against Mogliano and if that's good enough to stay in the team against Bath then great."
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