Dragons Ready To Take It To The Max As Clark Reveals Why He Swapped England For Wales

Dragons centre Max Clark. Pic: Getty Images.

Dragons Ready To Take It To The Max As Clark Reveals Why He Swapped England For Wales


By Harry Corish

Max Clark insists he was right to buck the trend and move from English to Welsh rugby as he believes joining the Dragons has jolted him out of his comfort zone.

At a time when the likes of Dragons forward Will Rowlands and Cardiff centre Max Llewellyn are leaving Wales, Clark moved in the opposite direction when he left Bath to move to Rodney Parade this summer.

Having earned his stripes alongside the likes of Jamie Roberts and England star Jonathan Joseph at the Rec, Clark will be aiming to maintain the Dragons’ unbeaten start to their European Challenge Cup campaign on Saturday when they host Pau in a match that is live on S4C.

The Dragons returned home to the snow and ice this week, following their mini South African tour.

And while the tour trip failed to bear that elusive win on South African soil, the Dragons did pick up three crucial points in their opening European round draw against the Lions, making an unbeaten start to the Challenge Cup.

Clark – who has made six appearances so far this season – believes the positives from that performance will help the Dragons in their quest to qualify for the last 16 of the Challenge Cup and justify his move across the Severn Bridge.

“Sometimes as a player you want to be playing every week, but if you are honest with yourself, the competition around you can only make you better,” he says.

Max Clark Is Set To Make His Debut In Welsh Rugby . . . With The Centre Looking At International Honours

“For me, I really need to take my chances with both hands. Earlier on in my career I had some very good players around me, like Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Joseph, but I’ve also been unlucky with injuries.

“So, it’s an exciting time for me, personally, with the European games and the Welsh derbies coming up. These are the games all the boys want to be involved in. I’ve heard a lot of good things, so I really want to put my best foot forward.”

That includes the Wales-qualified 27-year-old fulfilling his ambition of one day wearing the Three Feathers, even though he was capped by England at U18 and U20 level.

“I’ve made no secrets about my desire to step up into the international set up.

“But that starts from me playing well for the Dragons and playing as much as I can for the Dragons. Hopefully, from there we can wait and see about that.”

Pau currently sit 11th in the Top 14, seven points away from a relegation spots. But the Top 14 is such a tight league at present, they are only four points from a top six position. So, the French side will pose a significant threat.

The Dragons have just three wins from nine games in the URC but have received many plaudits for being far more competitive and also entertaining under head coach Dai Flanagan.

And despite their narrow league defeats to the Lions and the Stormers, the Dragons appear to have closed the gap against South African opposition.


They lost 20-19 against the Sharks earlier in the year, they succumbed to the Lions, 33-25, and despite a late comeback against the Stormers, lost 34-26, before recording an exciting 31-all draw against the Lions last weekend in the opening round of the Challenge Cup.

“We head into the game in a very confident mood, we are aware of what we need to work on, but we are back home, which is huge for us,” adds Clark.

“We have prepared for the best of Pau, but we know we can take them on.

“It is great to play teams from different countries and cultures. You can get a really good sense of where you are as a team. I think we have been able to find strengths and weaknesses that maybe we wouldn’t have found otherwise.”

Flanagan has made a big impact since he took charge, with the Dragons now sitting second in the Welsh Shield table, despite a dismal start to the season.

But Clark knows these next few weeks are crucial to keep the momentum going.


“There has been a lot of change since the start of the season. I have seen a difference just this year, but some of the other players have told me about how much the feeling around the place has changed.

“There has been a lot of building, growth, and change, so it has probably been a tricky time. Usually that happens in pre-season.

“So, as a playing group it is hard to find a direction when there is so much change, but we have really found our identity and the way we want to play pretty quickly.

“We have improved a huge deal and by performing well in Europe and competing with the best teams and more good results will show how far we have come as a group.”


S4C – Saturday, 5.15pm: Dragons v Pau

 Live coverage of the match between the Dragons and Pau in the EPCR Challenge Cup, from Rodney Parade. Kick off 5.30pm.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.