Gruff Rees reckons Ashley Beck can continue to improve at the Ospreys
The Ospreys are confident Ashley Beck can handle the pressure of being a marked man.
Beck enjoyed a stellar season at the Liberty Stadium as the Ospreys marched to the RaboDirect PRO12 title. He was rewarded with a place on Wales' tour to Australia and featured in all three Tests.
Defences will be clued up on the former Aberavon man following his rapid rise but the Ospreys reckon he will remain a handful.
"We were delighted with Ashley last season and we expect him to go from strength to strength," Ospreys backs coach Gruff Rees told the South Wales Evening Post.
"If people pay him extra attention that will free up space for others around him.
"If anything, Ash will be better for having stepped onto the international stage. "Everything is faster in Test rugby and players have less time to think and execute their plays. You learn to adapt and think quicker. More often than not, you become a better player."
Beck has become a vital figure at the Ospreys, with his creativity a major ingredient in last season's success.
He filled the void left by James Hook last year and there will be an even greater onus on him to provide a spark in the new campaign,
"We have seen some world-class players depart over the past two years," said Rees.
"But there is still an unbelievable cream of talent behind the scrum. What we have to do is use people where they are most effective.
"So someone like Hanno Dirksen is best deployed in a roaming role, so he can follow the ball and play off guys like Ashley and Dan."
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.