Ryan Jones was left pinching himself last night as he prepared to take part in his first training session with the Lions.
Jones arrived in Christchurch on Sunday after being called up as cover for the injured Scottish No.8 Simon Taylor, who has since been ruled out of the rest of the tour. For the Ospreys flanker / No.8, his late inclusion in the Lions party rounds off the most incredible year of his life.
Having kicked off last summer out of work after the Warriors folded, Jones was then snapped up by the Ospreys. Ten months later he finds himself in a Lions squad having won the Celtic League with his region and the RBS Six Nations, Triple Crown and Grand Slam with Wales.
"I find it difficult to stop smiling," said Jones. "It has been an amazing year with the Ospreys and Wales and this just rounds it off. I am still wondering when it will all sink in, but for the time being I am just trying to concentrate on helping the Lions out here."
Jones was due to play for Wales against Canada in Toronto on Saturday night, but was withdrawn from that game and popped on an eighteen hour flight to Auckland when the call came.
"It came right out of the blue, but it was a great feeling when Alan Phillips told me the news," added Jones. "I managed to watch a re-run of the Wales game on television here yesterday morning and I was delighted for the boys that they finished off the tour in such style. Let's hope the Lions can do the same by winning the series out here."
Jones has no idea when he will get his chance, but it seems likely that he will play some part in next week's game against Southland in Invercargill.
Carmarthen Quins are holding an exhibition to commemorate club players who fought in World War I. All welcome to the clubhouse on Friday afternoon to learn more about local history, or share any family anecdotes or artifacts.
Defence coach Shaun Edwards believes Saturday's clash against England - the 'form team in world rugby' - poses a huge challenge for his side but he is confident, with Wales beginning to show the defensive qualities displayed in the last two World Cups,
Women in the Ospreys region recently completed a Level 1 coaching course and are looking forward to putting their theory into practice in clubs and schools across the region. A women only course has been organised for the Scarlets region starting next week, full details at the end of the video.