Andries Pretorius wants a place in the Welsh squad this autumn
Andries Pretorius is targeting more appearances in a Welsh jersey after making his international debut in June's tour of Japan.
If my role is to simply just push the guys ahead of me then I'll gladly accept that opportunity
The Cardiff Blues man came off the bench in the first Test win in Osaka before starting in Tokyo.
He admits his first taste of Test match rugby was an eye-opening experience but is desperate to add to his two caps this season.
"It was a phenomenal experience and now I'd like to try and play against some of the home nations," said Pretorius, as he looked ahead to the new campaign.
"Generally the game is a bit more physical which suits my style of rugby and I'm really looking forward to this season now."
Asked what lessons he learnt from the Japan tour, Pretorius added: "The pace was extraordinary but more than anything it was about being clinical.
"If you make a mistake, someone is going to punish you and if you get an opportunity, you have to take it. Those are the two things both individually and collectively that we learnt from it."
With British & Irish Lions Sam Warburton, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Toby Faletau on a high after the series win against Australia, competition in the Welsh back row is especially fierce.
Add in the likes of Josh Navidi, Rob McCusker, James King and Andrew Coombs, and you see the strength in depth available to Warren Gatland for the autumn clashes with South Africa, Argentina, Tonga and Australia.
"If my role is to simply just push the guys ahead of me then I'll gladly accept that opportunity," said Pretorius.
Before thinking about Wales though, Pretorius is focusing on the start of the regular season with Cardiff Blues.
Phil Davies' side start their RaboDirect PRO12 campaign with a trip to Glasgow before home matches with Connacht and Zebre on the new artificial surface at Cardiff Arms Park. First though, is their final pre-season game against Sale on Friday night.
"There were a couple of times last year where one score in a game cost us," said Pretorius.
"This year we've got a lot more players who have experience under their belt. They've learnt from that and had a really good pre-season. Guys who last year we classed as young players are now experienced players so I'm looking forward to seeing these guys play.
"We owe Sale one after what happened up there last year but it will be good to get into them and go into the season playing hard."
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.