Challenge Cup: Dragons boss Jones wants 'carefree' Cup bid

By Nick WebbBBC Sport Wales
Lyn Jones congratulates Taulupe Faletau
Lyn Jones congratulates Taulupe Faletau

Newport Gwent Dragons boss Lyn Jones says his side aim to continue their "carefree" European Challenge Cup away form in the semi-final at Edinburgh on 17 April.

After wins at Stade Francais in Paris and at Newcastle, Dragons beat Cardiff Blues 25-21 to reach the last four.

"Our away form has been great and we'll be looking for a carefree performance," said ex-Wales flanker Jones.

"We won't be putting too much pressure on the players."

The Welsh region were well beaten 24-10 on their last visit to Edinburgh in the Pro12 in October.

But Jones believes his side have made big improvements from their injury-hit "shambles" of a performance on that occasion.

"It was nil-nil after half an hour and we lost our way after that, but we're a far better unit now than we were then," he said.

"But Edinburgh have also improved as the season's gone along.

"They've made a decision to recruit from the southern hemisphere rather than go to their academy, so they've got lots of well-developed players who are going to be a threat and don't make many mistakes.

"We need to go up and be positive - it's a semi-final I know but we'll be looking to open up the game," he told BBC Wales Sport.

The Dragons have never reached a final, defeats in Clermont in the last four of the Challenge Cup in 2007, and in Gloucester in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2011 the closest they have come.

They are unlikely to have Wales lock Andrew Coombs available after he left the field with a serious leg injury early in their quarter-final victory over Blues.

But Jones hopes James Thomas, who was also forced off after moving up to the second row, will pass concussion tests this week.

Previous stand-in captain Rynard Landman remains suspended for the Murrayfield trip after his red card against Connacht in the Pro12.

Edinburgh won at London Irish to reach the penultimate knock-out stage and boss Alan Solomons wants his side to take the chance to reach the final.

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