Peter Edwards is enjoying rugby life in the Championship.
A late starter to rugby, London Welsh prop Peter Edwards was more adept with a cricket ball in his hand than the oval shaped kind, until he joined his local pub team, Bishops Castle & Onny Valley when he was 19.
"The first time I turned up I was told to go there (tighthead) and just push, and that's where I've stayed," said Edwards.
From there he moved to Newtown and then on to North Wales, and it was during his season with the latter that he made an impression playing against a Scarlets Select team. He was subsequently asked to join Llanelli and later moved on to Llandovery.
"My old coach at Bishops Castle used to say 'you're a good player' and when he moved to Newtown he asked if I'd come and play there," he said. "I gave it a go and then got picked up by North Wales. We used to play against the regions, but I didn't think much about playing against the Scarlets Select team, it was just another game. And then it all kicked off from there.
"There wasn't much rugby up in Shropshire so I played cricket for a lot of my younger years. I was a bit of an all rounder - six or out. I'd score quick runs or I'd get out pretty quickly. I used to love rugby but my school didn't play much rugby - it was all football," said Edwards, who was 26 when he got picked up by Llanelli.
He would eventually force his way into the Scarlets squad in 2010 and would spend the next three seasons at the region.
"Obviously I wanted to push on and make it through to the Scarlets team. It's tough and you've got to take your chance when you're given it, but I really enjoyed it," he said.
The highlight of his time with the Scarlets was playing Heineken Cup rugby, and the Scarlets' hard fought 16-13 away win in Castres in January 2012.
"When we went out there no one gave us much of a shot, but we ended up taking a scalp away from home in France, which not many people do," said Edwards.
"The physicality and the pace of the Heineken Cup game is phenomenal and travelling over to France is awesome, they love their rugby. Playing against people you've watched on tv, internationals, you have to pinch yourself sometimes."
Justin Burnell then brought him to London Welsh last summer. The challenge of the Championship is one that has surprised Edwards, but it's also one that he's enjoyed.
"Before I came to the Championship I was speaking to a few people and they said it was a hard league, and it hasn't disappointed," he said. "The physicality is massive; you've got a lot of big guys playing and they run hard and straight. I didn't think it would be this tough, but it's a really good hard fought league and on the day anyone can turn up. It's a tough league week in, week out."
Saturday is another case in point as Nottingham visit Old Deer Park with Welsh eager to bounce back from their 25-21 defeat to Bristol and end the winning season on a winning note.
"You can't fault the character of the boys to come back in the last 15 minutes - we never gave up," said Edwards. "We put too much pressure on ourselves, especially in the first half. The scrum was a bit dodgy and we allowed them to keep kicking to the corner and keep putting pressure on us. We didn't help ourselves.
"To go in at the break after all of that pressure against us just 5-0 down was really good. Taking the positives out of it, we'd taken all they could throw at us and we were only 5-0 down.
"In the second, though, it just took its toll a bit. We missed a few tackles and they scored a couple of tries, but then we came back into the game and finished really strong."
It was a step up in tempo and intensity and a glimpse into what Welsh can expect in the play-offs.
"Bristol like to play with tempo, they don't kick goals, so they either tap and go or kick to the corner," added Edwards. "They were looking to move the ball wide all of the time and it was really quick. We perhaps couldn't do the work we'd normally do in the breakdown because it was so quick.
"It probably was a step up in the speed of the game, because we couldn't control the breakdown. Competing hard at the breakdown has been a big part of our season, and we weren't able to do that."
The Exiles, though, can take positives from their strong finish, which saw them rack up three tries in the last ten minutes to secure a losing bonus point.
"We just started playing a little bit. We got our hands on the ball and showed what we can do," added Edwards.
"The majority of the game we didn't have any ball - we were defending. As soon as we got the ball and started going through our plays we started making inroads. When we play the semi-final we've got to make sure we do all of that."
Welsh now round off the regular season against Nottingham at Old Deer Park on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) eager to get back to winning ways.
"It's massive; we want to carry momentum into the play-offs. We're treating Nottingham like any other league game - we want to win it and we want to finish second," said Edwards.
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.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
Wales U18 Team Manager Gethin Watts believes the next couple of weeks will be 'extremely beneficial' to the future of Welsh rugby as his side prepare to take part in the Under 19 International Series being staged in South Africa.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event