BANNED boss Bernard Jackman is confident that the Dragons will plug their leaking defence against Edinburgh at Rodney Parade this evening (kick-off 5.30pm), writes Chris Kirwan.

Defence coach Hendre Marnitz was sacked last week as a result of the woeful record of 127 tries conceded in 29 Guinness PRO14 games since the start of Jackman's reign in 2017.

The head coach – who has been handed a two-week stadium ban for criticism of referee Ian Davies in October – has taken over from the South African and the Dragons have spent the past fortnight concentrating on defence in training.

Jackman, who held the role of defence coach at the start of his coaching career in Grenoble, stresses that it will take time to fully turn around the defensive fortunes but expects to see progress against Edinburgh.

He said: "We have got to build a system that makes us much more consistent and dangerous defensively to the opposition rather than to ourselves.

"That process has started and it's quite a different system. It's a race against time and we know that it's not going to be at its best against Edinburgh, but we want it to be good enough to help us win.

"Tuesday was all about defence and we got three and a half sessions in last week, whereas normally it's a session and a bit. We have got four weeks of work into it in terms of days, but we have to test it."

Marnitz was one of Jackman's first appointments after taking over in the Rodney Parade hotseat.

"As a head coach you have to try and back your assistant coaches, then when you can't back them any longer it is hard," he admitted.

"But that's life and it's an incredibly tough industry and we make hard decisions all the time. It was difficult but it doesn't change what I think of him as a person and hopefully we can be friends and he will bounce back at another job.

"If every coach who had a setback was defined by it then there wouldn't be many in the business. There are very few who have had an easy ride.

"It was tough but now we have to move on and make sure that the decision is proved right by making the defence better."

In attack the Dragons will hope to prosper thanks to the playmaking abilities of Jason Tovey, the fly-half who was released by Edinburgh in the summer.

"I know that we didn't finish them off against Connacht but he is certainly creating opportunities," said Jackman.

"His ability to play right at the gain line is making our attack look a lot better."