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."
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.
Reaction from Scotland and a special focus on Welsh Women's rugby in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Wales captain Sam Warburton and coach Warren Gatland, as well as Wales U20 reaction from forwards coach Geraint Lewis, along with Josh Adams and Olly Griffiths. There is also a special focus on Welsh Women's rugby with coach Rhys Edwards, as well as hearing from clubs Bedlinog, Penybanc, Kidwelly and Skewen. We also speak to volunteer of the year, Sue Davies on Whitland and the Scarlets.
Following their historic win over England, Wales Under 20 suffered a narrow, 36-34 loss to their Scottish counterparts last weekend, despite outscoring them by five tries to three. Watch the match highlights and reaction.
Disappointment at the Millennium Stadium, but don't be sad because two out of three is not bad in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast as the 20s and Women both win. We hear from Sam Warburton, Dan Lydiate, Alun Wyn Jones, Jamie Roberts and Leigh Halfpenny about the defeat to England and looking forward to Scotland. Wales U20s captain Ollie Griffiths, back Josh Adams and forwards coach Geraint Lewis talk about their victory over double world champions England, while Wales Women also beat a world championship winning England team - we speak to backs Elinor Snowsill, Ade Taviner and Laurie Harris.
England coach Stuart Lancaster gives his verdict after seeing his skipper Chris Robshaw lead his side to victory against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in the opening game of the RBS 6 Nations championship.