Richard Fussell says he's pleased with the impact he's made in his first few months as an Osprey, but he acknowledges that he still has a lot of work to do to fully establish himself at the region.
The 26-year old has scored five tries in 10 appearances since he arrived at the Liberty Stadium in the summer and is the Ospreys top try scorer so far this season, his latest score coming in the LV= Cup win against Leicester Tigers at Bridgend two weeks ago.
While he’s enjoying life as an Osprey, he says that he won’t be taking anything for granted despite his good form:
“It’s pleasing. It’s showing the coaches that I’ve come here to do a job and as a winger, that’s what you want them to be doing, scoring tries.
“I’m enjoying my rugby at the moment, I’m playing well. It’s just getting game time and building confidence for the team and myself.
“My focus is on playing well and starting regularly. I’d say I’ve improved quite a bit since joining, it’s playing with quality players. You get that balance, you are learning off different people and you are playing different styles. It’s good for me and it’s good for my personal development.
It’s still about establishing myself. Even though the internationals are away at the moment, they are going to be coming back next week and I’m going to be fighting for my place. That’s no mean feat, you’ve got Shane Williams, Tommy Bowe and Nikki Walker.”
The last couple of weeks have seen the Ospreys turn in two very different but nonetheless pleasing performances in the wins over Leicester and Connacht, and Fussell says that it’s been good to see the players coming in for the absentee internationals doing well.
“To be honest with you, the boys have stepped up” he said.
“We are all gelling well together, once the international boys are away we’ve got to front up and the boys are.
“Connacht was a difficult place to go. There was confidence in the team and ability in the team, we just needed it to click for us and in the 78th minute we did click. We were threatening all game. There are a number of players across the park I could name who are playing well, but it’s more about a collective unit rather than individuals.”
Next up for the Ospreys is Leinster at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday and Fussell is expecting a stern challenge:
“They are a difficult team to beat wherever you are, home or away. Even though they have so many internationals away they’ve still got quality players backing up. I think it’ll be a tough game on Sunday, but I’m sure we’ll do a job.
“We have built a bit of momentum coming off the back of the Dragons, that was our first game without the international players but we were building in that game. Even though we lost we were building. Leicester was a great win, then Connacht, so fingers crossed we can take that momentum and carry it through the Leinster game.
“The way you see the boys train and the characters within the team, the ability and the confidence that they’ve shown, you can see that they are not here to just be back up, they want to play rugby at the highest level. At the end of the day they are here to do a job and they are doing it.
“There’s youngsters in the group but we’ve got a lot of experience in there as well, guys like Mefin, Duncan, Marty, Jerry and Sonny. They coach you through, they are not just out there, they’ve got good experience and they help you through the game. There’s a good balance of boys who want to grab their opportunity and boys with experience, who know when you need to put your foot on the gas or just slow it down a bit. These guys are great for the team.”