Ystradgynlais RFC product wants more Ospreys experience in 2013/14
Having enjoyed his first taste of senior international experience on the summer tour to Japan, young back rower Dan Baker will report back for pre-season training later this month targeting game time with the Ospreys as he looks to establish himself at his home region.
Baker, who celebrated his 21st birthday last week, joined the growing list of young talent who have rolled off the Ospreys production line at Llandarcy to represent Wales with two appearances off the bench in Japan, completing a rapid rise from the Premiership to the international game.
In total, he managed 37 minutes on the field during the two test matches, and although Wales were defeated in the second test, he insists that he thoroughly enjoyed the tour:
“It was a brilliant experience. You’ll never top getting your first cap. Getting on the field to play for Wales was unbelievable. Coming from just a few months ago playing for Swansea in the Premiership through just three games for the Ospreys, to step out in a full international match, it’s incredible.
“We were disappointed to lose the second test but the whole tour is an experience I’ll never forget. I enjoyed everything about it. Being in the environment, different coaches, being away with the group. It was brilliant.
“I’d love to be able to be a part of a national squad again but I know it will be hard. After the tour finished the coaches told me to go back to the Ospreys and make a name for myself there. That’s what I’ve got to do.”
Ystradgynlais RFC product Baker enjoyed a productive year with Swansea in 2012/13, scoring 10 tries in 25 appearances as he flourished with the All Whites despite the team struggling in the Premiership, eventually finishing in last place.
His club form led to regional recognition as the former Ospreys age-grade player received his first senior call-up post-Christmas, with two LV= Cup appearances soon followed by his RaboDirect PRO12 debut. Despite the good impression he was making, a Wales call still came as a big surprise.
“I never expected that I’d be going on tour with Wales this summer” he said.
“The plan after last season was to come in for pre-season, work hard, and hopefully get more Ospreys games. The Premiership has been brilliant for me, I really enjoyed playing for Swansea last season and it’s really benefited me being there.
“It was difficult at times, we finished bottom and that’s not nice, but if I hadn’t had a chance to play for Swansea then I wouldn’t have gone on tour. I’ll enjoy playing for them this year as well, but I want to try and play more for the Ospreys if I can. I want to show that I can play at a higher level.”