Opportunity beckons for youngsters

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 11:32
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Ospreys centre Ashley Beck says the upcoming Test window is a ‘massive’ opportunity for youngsters to make a name for themselves on the provincial front.

With the international contingent absent, the Ospreys will be looking to a number of younger players to step up during November and take their opportunity to shine for the region.

One of those currently away at the Spala training camp in Poland is urging those still at Llandarcy to look to follow in his footsteps.

Centre Ashley Beck was just 17 years and 222 days old when, five years ago, he came off the bench in a Magners League clash against Leinster on the same weekend that Wales were defeated by newly crowned world champions South Africa at the Millennium Stadium to become the youngest ever Osprey.

His brief introduction to senior rugby saw him go head-to-head with Leinster legend Brian O’Driscoll for the first time, and over the following seasons the majority of his time in an Ospreys shirt came during the various international windows, until such was his form at the start of last season during the Rugby World Cup period that he was able to firmly establish himself in the starting XV with his first international call-up duly following.

With three caps coming during the June tour to Australia, 22-year old Beck will be absent from the Ospreys during this international window, but he says it’s a great opportunity for others to make their mark.

“This time of the year is massive for younger players coming through,” said Beck.

“You know as a young player at the Ospreys that when the international period comes around there’ll be a lot of players away, and that’s when you need to take your opportunity.

“I was lucky to get some experience against Leinster as a 17-year old, which was brilliant. Over the next few years then, I was playing for Aberavon throughout the season with the chance to play again for the Ospreys during the different international breaks, and that really helped me to kick on as a player.

“Playing in the Pro12 against the likes of Edinburgh, Connacht, Glasgow and the Dragons was great experience. The LV Cup is also great, I’ve been involved in some brilliant games against the likes of Leicester and Bath, giving me a taste of something different.”

Now firmly established as a key player at the region, Beck is in no doubt of the value of the experience gained in the international periods.

“I’d definitely agree that it’s helped me become a better player. Stepping up from the Premiership to train and play with senior Ospreys, and to play against better players, can only make you better.

“I’m fortunate to be away with Wales now, and there will be players coming into the group at the Ospreys now who are in the same position as I’ve been over the last few years.

“It’s an exciting time with people desperate to learn and to impress the coaches, and you know that whatever happens there’ll be one or two players that people haven’t heard of who will show up well and get supporters talking. That’s always the way.

“If you do well during the window it can be huge for you.”

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
PRO12
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 20 17 0 3 79
Munster 20 17 0 3 76
Scarlets 20 15 0 5 67
Ospreys 20 13 0 7 65
Ulster 20 13 1 6 64
Glasgow Warriors 20 11 0 9 57
Cardiff Blues 20 9 1 10 45
Connacht 20 9 7 11 44
Edinburgh 20 4 0 16 23
Dragons 20 4 0 16 21
Treviso 20 4 0 16 19
Zebre 20 3 0 17 18
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