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."
Grand Slams, Triple Crowns and British and Irish Lions tours - Sir Gareth Edwards did it all. But what are his favourite moments in what was an amazing career? WRU TV finds out - along with his favourite players of today in the third and final instalment of our series with the greatest rugby player ever.
JPR Williams, Gerald Davies and Mervyn Davies were among those in the Welsh ranks when Sir Gareth Edwards began his international career against France nearly 50 years ago, but who was the player who took the young scrum half under their wing?
Wales head coach Rob Howley and captain Alun Wyn Jones are expecting a physical battle against France on Saturday but both are hoping for another impact from the bench as the men in red chase a top-four world ranking.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt believes the yellow card received by Johnathan Sexton was the crucial period of the game which handed victory to a 'clever' Wales side in a titanic RBS 6 Nations clash at Principality Stadium.
Man of the match Rhys Webb is delighted he and his team mates were able to produce a performance to make Welsh fans proud after Wales scored three tries en route to victory against a very good Ireland side at Principality Stadium.
All eyes on the Wales games against Ireland this weekend and we also hear from teams involved in the WRU Cup draw in the Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. Coach Rob Howley, captain Alun Wyn Jones, back rowers Ross Moriarty and Sam Warburton on Wales, backs coach Nick Wakley and scrum half Keira Bevan on Wales Women, forwards coach Chris Horsman and prop Rhys Carre on Wales U20s, while we also hear from Merthyr, Pontypridd and Cross Keys about still being up for the Cup.
Wales head coach Rob Howley has kept faith with the side who suffered a disappointing defeat to Scotland by naming an unchanged side to face Ireland on Friday evening at Principality Stadium in the penultimate round of the RBS 6 Nations.
Ospreys and Wales duo Rhys Webb and Scott Baldwin return to their home town club Bridgend Ravens as they prepare for life after their rugby playing careers by undertaking their coaching badges at the Principality Premiership outfit.
Defence coach Richard Hodges and centre Keiran Williams discuss their U20 Six Nations campaign after victory against Scotland. Wales U20 are back at home in Parc Eirias this Saturday (18:30) to face Ireland in the penultimate round of the competition.
Sam Warburton realises a Six Nations title is now out of the question after the defeat to Scotland, but the former skipper says Wales will be playing for pride when Ireland visit Principality Stadium in the next round of the RBS 6 Nations.
The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) today formally announced its intention to assume operational control of the Newport Gwent Dragons (NGD) region, both on and off the field - with a targeted completion date of 1st July - after reaching 'heads of terms' agreement.
Ticket sales for Judgement Day V have broken through the 40,000 mark with just under a month still to go until Wales' stars meet in regional colours under the Principality Stadium roof - on Saturday 15th April.
Julie Paterson is easily the Welsh Rugby Union's longest serving senior figure - having been appointed to its inaugural executive board twelve years ago as Head of Compliance and, since, moving on to a second executive position as Head of Rugby Operations in 2015.
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