Opportunity beckons for youngsters

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 11:32
Large ashleybecktigers Large ashleybecktreviso Large ashleybeckbrumbies

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.”

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 16 13 1 2 65
Munster 17 10 0 7 54
Cheetahs 17 9 0 8 47
Cardiff Blues 17 9 0 8 42
Connacht 17 6 0 11 33
Ospreys 16 6 0 10 30
Zebre 16 4 0 12 22
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 17 13 1 3 64
Scarlets 17 12 1 4 61
Edinburgh 17 12 0 5 55
Ulster 16 9 1 6 46
Treviso 17 8 0 9 40
Dragons 17 2 2 13 17
Kings 17 1 0 16 9