8:53am Thursday 1st May 2014
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons defensive tyro Nic Cudd would love nothing better than playing a supporting role rather than being star of the show when he returns to his old stomping ground to take on the Scarlets tomorrow evening.
The openside flanker was sensational in the Dragons' last outing, racking up the tackles and turnovers in an all-action defensive display against the Ospreys at the Millennium Stadium.
His eye-catching efforts weren't enough to prevent a 20-10 defeat but they did win him the man of the match award.
The 25-year-old from Ponthenri seems to relish coming off the field with cuts and bruises but he would be content if he doesn't have too much to do when he returns to Parc y Scarlets.
He said: "It was backs to the wall against the Ospreys but I would rather that I wasn't defending so much so that we can be attacking and score tries!
"Hopefully I can be the link between the forwards and the backs, whether turning over ball or on the shoulder of the carrier."
Cudd arrived at Rodney Parade from Llanelli early last season to solve a back row injury crisis and has been a real hit.
The first of his 40 appearances for the region came against his former employers in a 24-13 defeat at Parc y Scarlets but this no story about a scorned player returning with a point to prove.
"It's just another game, if I have too much of an agenda it might affect my game in a negative way," he said.
"It's my old team but that's about it. It just didn't work out for me at the Scarlets, I had quite a few long-term injuries and didn't have so many chances.
"I've played a lot of games for the Dragons and I think the Scarlets were happy that I was able that I had the chance to play professionally elsewhere."
The Dragons head west looking to finish the season strongly after a shocking run of one win in nine games that has seen them slip to 10th in the RaboDirect Pro12 table.
"We started the season quite well and were mid-table until February but it has been disappointing since then," said Cudd.
"It was a better performance against the Ospreys but disappointing to come away without anything after the effort that we put in.
"Hopefully we can improve again tomorrow evening and against Treviso because we want to finish the season on a high."
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