Ceri Sweeney will spearhead Newport Gwent Dragons’ fight for a European Challenge Cup semi-final place keen to take another French scalp when they clash with Brive at Rodney Parade on Saturday.

“Getting to the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup this year has been a real bonus for us and an opportunity to play some European rugby which is great,” said the Wales threequarter.

“I really enjoy playing against the French teams. We were really pleased with our win in Bayonne, which was a great coup for us, and the French pose a real step up in quality.

“Having been at Pontypridd I know Brive pretty well, especially their history, and coming into this tournament as previous Heineken Cup winners makes them a team you have to take seriously. I know they’re not doing too well in the French championship at the moment but we will make sure we are properly prepared for the match.

“The French have come off a seven-week rest and the usual advantage of being slightly fresher than them at this stage of the season has been cancelled out.

“But we have had a week off and with just Kevin (Morgan) and Ian (Gough) playing international rugby during the Six Nations we’re pretty fresh and ready for this match.

“I’ve found the tournament to be a real mixed bag in terms of quality in the Pool stages. We played Bucuresti one week and then Bristol – who were at the time top of the Premiership – the next.

“Bayonne are a very good side and we were really pleased with our wins over them but now we are at the knock-out stages there are some real quality sides in the tournament. It looks like it will be a real fight to the finish.”