Jason Tovey out to end Edinburgh’s losing run versus Dragons

Edinburgh's Jason Tovey will be up against his former club Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS/SRU
Edinburgh's Jason Tovey will be up against his former club Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS/SRU
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When Jason Tovey left the Dragons he said they were a team that had “gone backwards”.

More than a year on and the Welsh stand-off was probably not anticipating a low-key, end of season battle for ninth place between his new and former club.

That will be the case at Myreside tomorrow, though, when Edinburgh host the team for whom Tovey played eight seasons in two spells either side of an ill-fated year at Cardiff.

Tovey concedes it has been a hard campaign but feels that Edinburgh are not far away from turning things around and hoping for a positive last two games to take into next season under incoming coach Richard Cockerill.

Tovey initially came to Edinburgh on a short-term deal but went on to sign a two-year contract after impressing on loan.

“It has been tough,” he said of a current campaign which has nosedived into an eight-game losing streak.

“You look at the table and we have six losing bonus points. If we could have turned a few of those into wins… It has been a tough year and the boys will be looking to get a good finish going into the pre-season.

“They [Dragons] are only two points behind us. Ideally we would like to be much further up the table but things have not gone right for us this 
season. We need to put in a strong finish and get as many points as we can.”

His time with the Dragons may have come to a slightly sour end but Newport-born Tovey still has many friends there – skipper Lewis Evans and hooker Rhys Buckley were ushers at his wedding – and he retains a bond with his home club.

“I got a bit of stick off them last year [when Edinburgh lost at Rodney Parade],” he said with a grimace.

“Hopefully, after this game we will reverse roles. This time round we have a home game, and we want to try and get some pride back.

“I wasn’t really a Dragons supporter when I was younger. I was more a Cross Keys man, the valleys. When you grow older you look at Newport, the bigger teams.

“It is tough when we are both at the bottom of the league. Ideally I would like Edinburgh to be top six. If both teams can push for top six next year I would be happy.”

Tovey may not be happy with Edinburgh’s results this year but is satisfied with the amount of rugby he has been getting, given that his rival for the No 10 shirt is Scotland international Duncan Weir. Tovey has stepped in during international periods but has also been picked on the basis of form on a few occasions when both have been available.

“He signed before I came here on loan so I knew what I was coming into,” said the former Wales under-20 cap. “But Dunc has a lot of Scottish caps which doesn’t come easy. I played a bit of rugby when he was away with the national team so we have shared the load a bit.”