With loose heads Duncan Jones and Paul James away on international duty with Wales, young prop Ryan Bevington will make his first start for the Ospreys against Glasgow on Friday night.
The 20-year old Porthcawl RFC product already has three Magners League appearances as a replacement to his credit, with his debut coming during the final fixture of the 07/08 season, away to Connacht, and after two further outings last season, he is set to make the step up to the starting fifteen this weekend.
A strong scrummager who also makes a great contribution around the field, Bridgend born Bevington has graduated through the ranks at the Ospreys, representing the region at Under-16, Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 level and captaining the young Ospreys. In addition, he has been capped by Wales at every age-grade level, appearing at two Junior World Championships for his country. He signed a four-year contract with the region in the summer, keeping him at the Ospreys until 2013.
Speaking after the final training session of the week, he said that while he is excited about getting his chance, he realises the importance of ensuring he does his job well on Friday evening:
“It’s exciting times. I’ve been working hard in training, biding my time for when my opportunity came along, and this is it, now I’ve got to make sure I do the best I can.
“The coaches have told me to just go out there and play my own game, work with the team, make sure that we communicate as a unit and most importantly, to just enjoy it. It’s an opportunity to prove myself and to get some experience. It’s my first start and it’s important that I do myself justice.”
With 18 months having passed since his debut in Galway, Bevington has had to be patient as he waited for his first start, but the level-headed youngster says that when the chance comes, you have to jump at it:
“In rugby you never know what’s around the corner, you have to keep your head down and work hard in training as you don’t know what’s going to happen next week, never mind next month. When the opportunity comes you have to jump at it, and hopefully I will do myself, and the Ospreys, proud in this game.
“Duncan Jones and Paul James are great guys, and are clearly great players as they are away with the national team at the moment. They both help me enormously in training and with my development, but at the same time, they are the first choices in the position that I want to play, so it’s a chance for me to put my hand up and just show what I’m capable of and say I’m here. At the end of the day, it’s my first real opportunity with them both away and I’m looking forward to it.”
Ospreys Head Coach Sean Holley said that he’s looking forward to seeing Bevington testing himself at this level:
“Ryan is an explosive prop forward in the Duncan Jones mould. He is exceptionally quick, powerful, and can be a destructive scrummager, who has also shown good ball carrying skills. He is definitely one to watch for the future.”