ARWEL Robson intends to take his European opportunity and become the first Dragons fly-half to stamp their authority on the 10 jersey this season.

The 21-year-old from Ystrad Mynach will pull the strings in tomorrow’s Challenge Cup clash against Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens.

The chance comes because Jason Tovey is ineligible for Europe after being brought in on permit from Cross Keys, providing Robson with a shot at keeping the start for the festive derbies against Cardiff Blues, the Ospreys and Scarlets.

Gavin Henson, Josh Lewis, Robson and Tovey have all worn 10 on their back this season but nobody is yet to establish themselves as the standout playmaker.

“It’s my time to impress and I have to take this opportunity,” said Robson. “No-one has really taken their chance yet.

“I am just thinking about helping make our team the best we can be, but someone has got to nail down the jersey now.”

Robson made his PRO14 debut last season and made 12 appearances but his progress was stalled by two summer ankle operations and another blow in Glasgow in September.

The former Wales Under-20s international made his return off the bench in last week’s debacle against Leinster and hopes to now enjoy a run of games.

“It’s been a frustrating 12 months but hopefully all the injuries are past me now, I’ve got a big opportunity at the weekend,” said Robson, who showed signs of his talent with Newport in the Premiership.

“Last year was very important for my development and I learnt lots that put me in good stead for this season.

“Coming into it I felt confident and then I had that pre-season two operations, then got injured again. I’ve missed playing, it’s the worst time being sat on the sidelines watching games.

“It’s a big challenge going away to Northampton but it’s one that I am looking forward to; I just want to get out on the field and play.

“The last 12 months has been a rollercoaster, so hopefully I can now stay fit and see the season out with no injuries.”

Robson is returning to the ground where he made his first Dragons start last November and is tasked with helping avoid an arm-wrestle with a typically uncompromising English pack.

“They will have a big set piece, so it’s about moving them around and playing with tempo,” he said.

“One thing we are keen to do in attack is to move the ball a bit more, especially against their big forwards.

“But it’s not just a case of throwing it around, there is a game plan that we have to execute.”

Head coach Bernard Jackman names his team at midday but will head to the East Midlands without the six Wales players that featured in the autumn internationals.

Lock and captain Cory Hill, hooker Elliot Dee, back row forwards Ross Moriarty and Aaron Wainwright and centre Tyler Morgan have been given a rest week while tighthead Leon Brown broke a thumb against Leinster on Saturday.