Dan Baker is ready to take a leading role for the Ospreys when the new GuinnessPRO12 season kicks-off after learning so much from his South African adventure with Wales this summer.
The 22-year-old powerhouse set up Cory Allen's opening try in the 34-12 victory over the Eastern Province Kings and made the bench for the second Test with the Springboks. And despite the heartbreak of Wales' 31-30 defeat, Baker reckons he will be better equipped to take the Guinness PRO12 by storm this season.
He said: "Just being able to sit on the bench and watch people like Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha, who I've been watching play since I was a kid, was amazing.
"I'll do my best to improve this season, I've had the great experience of going on tour with Wales to South Africa and I'm ready to crack on. I learned every day, it was great to be involved with the whole squad."
The Ospreys missed out on the PRO12 playoffs after they were pipped to fourth place by Ulster. But Baker reckons the new-look region can fight for glory with their crop of local talent.
He added: "People can write us off but we know how hard we've trained and hopefully we can show that when the season kicks-off and hopefully we'll be successful.
"Most of the squad is made up of local boys and that's what the Ospreys strive to do and it's finally happened. It's good to be playing with boys I've grown up playing rugby with and against."
The Newport Gwent Dragons and Taulupe Faletau lie in wait for the Ospreys in the second round of PRO12 matches.
The Wales No.8 kept Baker out of the national team this summer, but he is determined to make him work hard for his starting berth.
He said: "Toby plays well every time he goes out on the pitch. He always stands up for the big occasion and performs. He's always going to be in the Wales fold and I've got a battle on my hands to get in the squad."
Robin McBryde and son Billy are set to represent Wales on either side of the globe over the coming weeks with Robin travelling to New Zealand as Wales assistant coach and Billy competing at the World Rugby U20 Championship (Manchester, June 7-25). WRU TV caught up with the pair and captured a unique perspective into the factors that produce such a high-achieving rugby family.
Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde is predicting a tough battle against England on Sunday despite the fact they may not be considered to be at full strength. Players will be out to impress Eddie Jones which makes England a dangerous proposition, he says.
Cardiff Blues Academy youngster Dane Blacker stole the show as Cardiff Blues stripped arch-rivals the Dragons of their Singha Premiership Sevens title in dramatic style at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
Newport Gwent Dragons will arrive at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday night to launch the defence of their Singha Premiership Sevens crown with seven of the squad that won the title at the Twickenham Stoop last season.
The Ospreys will head into the new season with two of their international forwards back in peak condition after Justin Tipuric and Tyler Ardron reported for the start of pre-season training with no injury worries.
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