Wales hooker Gareth Williams has thanked the Cardiff Blues for providing him with the platform which launched him back into the Welsh national team.
He said the success of Dai Young's regional team has given him the competitive edge he needed to prove himself to the Welsh coaches.
Williams also singled out his Blues teammate Rhys Thomas for providing first class competition for the number two shirt week in week out.
The player will complete his international comeback when he starts as hooker against the USA in Chicago on Saturday and he commented:"Now I have just got to get out there and prove myself. It has been good at the Blues and now I have got to do the same for Wales.
"At the Blues me and Rhys have been in competition for a few years and that is what keeps us both playing well. I can't afford to have a bad game and each Saturday we both go out as if it could be our last game.
"The reality is that competition like that keeps you on your toes and keeps you playing well. It is a great honour to play for Wales and all you can do is play well for your club and what will be will be. With Cardiff Blues doing so well this season that has had a big impact so I have them to thank as well."
He said the USA and Canada tour had proved a great experience with the squad developing day by day. "It has been absolutely great and we've had the right balance on this tour," he said. "The training has been good and we have been based in great cities with Chicago proving absolutely amazing.
"But at the end of the day we are here for two reasons and those are to win two important games of rugby."
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.