PREPARATIONS have gone well this week and hopefully a long-awaited Guinness PRO14 away win will follow – but we will have to cope with playing at altitude.

We have a later kick-off time of 7.35pm (6.35pm your time) against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein after starting at 3pm versus Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth last Sunday.

After that draw, which could and perhaps should have been a win, we headed to Cape Town for our preparations in the early part of the week.

Campaign Series:

We headed to Bloemfontein yesterday, as the sports scientists suggest that you arrive late when playing at altitude.

I’ll admit, the thin air still concerns me and my only previous experience of these conditions was when doing an extra fitness session at the Vale Resort when I was injured previously.

Cycling at 3,000m altitude and in a heated room hit me like a ton of bricks and I have been happy not to repeat that until this weekend!

There has been a lot of travel for this double-header, I’m room-sharing with my old buddy Jason Tovey and the hotels have been good.

That makes all the difference because it’s an opportunity to spend more time together as a team, to enjoy each other’s company or make a little extra time for physio or analysis.

South Africa is such a beautiful country and Cape Town is one of my favourite cities with so much to see and do.

Campaign Series:

Training was tough in this heat and we used the Stormers’ facilities to prepare for the Cheetahs, who the Ospreys beat last weekend.

It was great to enjoy a reunion with Tonderai Chavhanga, our seriously quick winger from 2011 to 2013, and when I was doing some sea recovery at Camps Bay I saw another familiar face that I used to cheer on as a supporter – Percy Montgomery.

Last time that I saw him in person was when I was in the academy, seeing him do wide-grip chin-ups with his own body weight chained beneath his legs.

Pictures of our reunion with our former Springboks went on the Dragons’ social media accounts with Tondi and Percy pictured with our kit man Jeremy Vizard.

Vizzy has had a great time on tour trying to catch up with every South African that has ever graced the Rodney Parade turf!

Rarely seen with his top on or carrying too much kit, it has been a decent trip for Vizzy and a few others that appreciate a decent drop of South African wine – it is greatly deserved after his efforts throughout a long season!

I am happy to be back fit after being a waterboy last week, trying to run messages on during what was a frantic game.

It’s tough on the road and without sounding too much of a whinger, it sometimes seems tougher for us than most – we don’t often get the rub of the green or decisions from TMOs.

Plenty of calls have gone against us that you could describe as harsh or unlucky and over the seasons that has contributed to the poor away record that we are more than aware of.

Hopefully that will all change tonight against a dangerous Cheetahs side. If we show control and a cutting edge then we have the quality to head home without that PRO14 away winless streak.