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LV= Cup preview: Ospreys v Newport Gwent Dragons

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A Welsh derby is always a massive occasion according to Ospreys prop Dan Suter, as they prepare to take on Newport Gwent Dragons in the LV= Cup.

Ospreys came out on top in a tight league encounter at Rodney Parade earlier this season and are still unbeaten in the competition, while the Dragons sit down in tenth.

Suter started in the 21-9 LV= Cup loss to Saracens last weekend and he is hoping the derby atmosphere can inspire the Swansea outfit to get back to winning ways.

“We’ve been preparing this week for the game on Friday and it has all been going really well,” said the 21-year-old. “We’re expecting it to be a typical derby really, a very physical game with a good crowd.

“The LV= Cup as a whole is really important for development and to give us a taste for this level of rugby in terms of playing well-structured English teams and getting experience of the atmosphere of derbies in the games with Welsh sides.

“Playing in the LV= Cup as a young player is the best way to make an impression and that is exactly how I will be treating the game this weekend.

“I’d definitely like to get back into the league team, as last year I had a few appearances so it’ll be nice to have a few more this year and hopefully progress further as a player.

“It’s really important to keep our momentum going and to get another win this weekend against Newport which will stand us in good stead going back into the Pro12.

“We know they’ll come really physical and their pack is good so they will test us in areas of the field where we did not do so well last week against Saracens.

“We’ve analysed their set-piece and are trying to figure out ways in which we can grind them out and make it a hard day for them.”

Meanwhile Dragons No.8 James Benjamin insists he is taking nothing for granted as he pushes for more Pro12 action against the Ospreys.

The 20-year-old has featured in the last three Newport matchday squads, but wants to show what he can do against the Pro12 leaders to put his hand up for league selection.

"I am really excited about the game with Ospreys," he said. "It is a big derby game and there is always that extra added spice when two Welsh regions do battle.

"There will be no shortage of big tackles and hopefully we can come out on top and get back to winning ways.

"It is also a great opportunity to show what you can do and put your hand up to the coaches moving forward.

"It is all about putting yourself in the shop window and hopefully improving all the time, getting better and learning with each game.

"The game against Ospreys is obviously one we want to win but at the same time it is a learning curve for the younger guys so it is an important game for many reasons."

For your definitive guide to the LV= Cup click here

Be part of the rugby family at the LV= Cup Final at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton on Sunday 22 March. Visit www.northamptonsaints.co.uk for tickets

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