JASON Tovey has a double aim tonight as the talented No 10 faces Bordeaux-Bègles in the Newport Gwent Dragons’ vital away Amlin Challenge Cup clash, writes Iwan Gabe Davies.
The 24-year-old will look to continue the imperious form which puts him on Wales’ Six Nations radar as well as steer his region to a famous victory in France.
Tovey was one of the shining lights in the Dragons’ superb 40-24 five-try bonus point triumph over Bordeaux-Bègles at Rodney Parade last Friday, scoring 15 points from the boot.
That stunning win, thanks largely to some breathtaking attacking rugby, has given his side real hope of reaching the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2007, also the year they last won in France when they hammered Bayonne 32-15.
But their dreams will disappear in a puff of smoke this evening if they come unstuck at the Stade André Moga in Bègles against the hosts who did cause them major headaches last week in the tight.
Tovey, who has been on fire for the Dragons since his return this season after an unhappy solitary campaign with their big rivals Cardiff Blues, is confident they can keep their hopes alive for a potential winner-takes all-extravaganza against Bath at home in January.
“We are playing with a bit of confidence and will be looking for the same sort of game plan as last week and we’ve been working hard on sorting our scrum and lineout out,” he said.
“We are also working on a couple of things to surprise them with.
“We’ve been given a licence to play and we are looking to keep that going this week.
“If our attack goes as well as it did as last Friday, we can get a win.
“Defensively as well this season we are hard to score against, although we did cough up three tries last week, and will be tweaking things to stop them this week. But France is never an easy place to go and play.”
With Bordeaux-Bègles facing an uphill task to make the tournament’s last eight after a defeat at home to Bath and the loss to the Dragons, Tovey added: “I think they needed something out of that game last week. It kept us in the competition but perhaps put them out.”
He also thinks the Dragons’ self-belief may pull them through: “Confidence goes a long way with a player. When someone is playing well with confidence, they are a hard person to stop.”
Uncapped Tovey has been on the fringes of a Wales cap for over four years but finds himself as the probable current fifth choice outside-half behind Dan Biggar, Rhys Priestland, James Hook and Rhys Patchell.
In 2009 he was unable to tour North America, which coincided with the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa, because the Dragons had to play a Heineken Cup play-off in Italy and had to head home from a Polish training camp because of a back problem after being named in the preliminary squad for the 2011 World Cup.
On his desire to represent his country, Tovey said: “It’s always been a dream of mine. I’ve got to concentrate on playing well for the Dragons and keep my form going. You never know what’s around the corner.”