Ashley Beck is desperate to hold onto the number 12 jersey
Ashley Beck is determined to fight off the challenge of Jamie Roberts to hand onto the Wales number 12 jersey.
The Ospreys star capitalised on Roberts' injury lay-off and featured in all of Wales' summer tour matches in Australia, including starts in the final two Tests.
Beck has continued his impressive form with the Ospreys but faces stiff competition to take centre stage in the Dove Men Series with Roberts back in the fold.
But he is ready to stake his claim during the Wales squad's Polish boot-camp in Spala this week.
"It's really hot competition with the two Scarlets boys, Scott (Williams) and Jonno (Davies), playing really well and Jamie coming back in and trying to find a bit of form," said Beck.
"Jamie would have hated being injured and having to give up the jersey but at the moment I can't wait to be playing in those games.
"We've all had games building up to this and everyone is trying to perform to their best to hold onto their jerseys.
"We have a week in Poland to prove who wants it and who's willing to work hardest for it. The competition is going to push us on and make us better players.
"Hopefully I can push my way into a starting place. I'll be working hard to prove to Rob (Howley) and the coaches that I'm capable of doing it."
Beck, who made his debut Down Under, admits the whitewash tour was a huge learning experience but he insists Wales are capable of claiming a long-awaited southern hemisphere scalp.
The Grand Slam champions have not overcome one of the 'big three' since a 21-18 victory over Australia in 2008.
But they face New Zealand and the Wallabies in their final two matches in the autumn series.
"It was great to be out there for three Tests against one of the best backlines in the world," said Beck.
"I learned that you can't switch off for even a moment. It's 100 miles an hour all the time.
"We lost but running a top team so close in their backyard will boost morale, if anything. We are playing them on our territory this time - they have to come to us - and we are all looking forward to it.
"They're all tough Tests but I can't see why we can't get three wins out of four or even all four.
"It's our home patch, we have that advantage with the crowd and there's no harm in pushing and really going for it.
"With the group we have, that impressed at the World Cup and Six Nations and done well in Australia, there's no harm in putting it out there."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.