NEWPORT Gwent Dragons intend to show that they are a side on the up when they take on the Ospreys in the WRU Women's Regional Championship, writes Chris Kirwan.

The Dragons go up against the champions on Sunday after being edged out by Cardiff Blues in the opening round at Llandarcy.

The Blues raced out into a 17-0 lead thanks to tries by Rafiuke Taylor, Cath Salter and Philippa Tuttiett.

The Dragons rallied to score tries through Naomi Whybrow and Cerys Hale but Tuttiett put the game beyond reach following a break by scrum-half Laura Prosser.

The Gwent side had the final say when Whybrow scored her second try of the match but it was too little too late as the Blues recorded a 27-15 victory.

There was a mixture of disappointment and encouragement for coach Gwesyn Price-Jones, who hopes that his charges can impress against the Ospreys.

"I don't think last weekend's scoreline really reflected the game because it was a good performance, especially by some of our younger players," he said.

"We have made a lot of improvements on previous seasons, we suffered a 40-pointer against the Ospreys last season but I certainly expect it to be a lot tighter this time."

Price-Jones believes the Dragons, who could be boosted by the return of Wales captain Rachel Taylor at number eight this weekend, are showing signs of progress.

"We have had 30 plus at training sessions and standards are improving all the time," he said.

"There are plenty of talented players in our squad and I've got big hopes for some of them to break into the international squad, or at least be in the Regional Select XV that will take on the Wales probables."

The Dragons Under-18s are training at Newport High School at 11am on Saturday morning. All girls, including those that have never played the game, from years 11, 12 and 13 are welcome.

A number of senior, under-18 and under-15 clubs in Gwent are looking for players while taster sessions for girls are available for any interested schools.

Contact Price-Jones on 07812 590909 or for more information.