Dragons lock Matthew Screech stunned by his rapid rise
LOCK Matthew Screech has vowed to keep grafting as he looks to make the most of his sudden chance Newport Gwent Dragons.
The 20-year-old 6ft 5ins second row from Tonyrefail was released by Cardiff Blues at the end of last season.
Screech penned a deal with Bedwas with the aim of training with the region, catching the eye and earning a full-time contract at the end of the campaign. He has hit his target well ahead of schedule.
"I just wanted the opportunity to train with the Dragons," said Screech, who was a member of the Wales Under-20s side that beat New Zealand in the 2012 Junior World Championship.
"I was going to try and impress the coaches and see if I could get anything at the end of the year.
"Lyn (Jones, director of rugby) must have seen something he liked and the Dragons made me an offer. I couldn't believe it – I'd been working hard but wasn't expecting anything like that to happen so soon."
Screech put in an eye-catching, aggressive performance when turning out for Bedwas in their friendly fixture against Henley Hawks.
That played its part in earning a swift chance to turn out in the region's colours in last week's pre-season win against Bath at Rodney Parade. He was given a start and shared the second row workload with Adam Jones and Ian Nimmo.
With captain Andrew Coombs and the influential Robert Sidoli also in the mix, Screech could find himself dropping down the pecking order but it won't be down to a lack of effort.
He said: "I was over the moon when I was told I was going to start against Bath. I just wanted to impress and gave it my all.
"I've got a lot of things to work on and just want to keep training hard. It's great to pick things up off the other locks so I'm just listening to what they've got to say.
"I expect that I will go to Bedwas to get some game time and I just want to try and keep improving and keep impressing the coaches."
Screech made just one league appearance for the Blues. His desire to make an impact should lead to him bettering that tally for the Dragons.