New loose head Jordan Lay is looking forward to doing what he loves after linking up with the Ospreys on a short-term injury loan.
The Samoan international has been signed to provide much needed cover as the Ospreys are without the four front line loose heads they began the season with and, after reporting for duty at Llandarcy Academy of Sport for the first time last Friday afternoon, the Bristol Bears and former Edinburgh prop has been impressed by the welcome he’s received.
“The boys are fantastic” he said.
“Everyone is warm and welcoming, so it’s been a pretty smooth transition. Coming into a team halfway through a season isn’t always easy but I’ve found the boys have made it a lot easier than it could be.
“There’s obviously a shortage (of props) and the opportunity presented itself, my agent got in contact and said there’s potentially an opportunity to go and play some minutes, and buy into a cool club. I thought give it a crack and see what happens.
“It’s a great opportunity to play some rugby, that’s what I love doing, I’m grateful to be here.”
Born in Moto'otua, Samoa, Lay’s family moved to New Zealand when he was three years old. After growing up in Auckland where he played for the Whakarewarewa club he then represented Bay of Plenty in the Mitre 10 Championship, before joining Edinburgh in 2017, heading to the Gallagher Premiership and Bristol last summer.
Lay will be at the Ospreys for the next three Guinness PRO14 games, against Ulster in Bridgend first up, Munster at the Liberty next week, and then the trip to Galway to face Connacht in a fortnight. The PRO14 will then take a three-week break, with Nicky Smith set to be available following the Six Nations for the next game against the Dragons, and the Ospreys hopeful of having one, or both, of Rhodri Jones and Gareth Thomas fit again.
With the Region currently holding third place in Conference A and targeting a play-off place at the end of the season, Lay understands there is work to be done and he intends doing his bit to help the cause over the coming weeks.
“100 per cent yes” said Lay.
“Hopefully I’ll leave with us in a better place then when I came in. I guess I’ll learn as I go. I played a couple of those teams last year and I know they are pretty relentless, they are pretty physical as well, that’s what I remember.
“I’m just a hard worker. I’ll buy into a system, graft hard, I love a bit of forward play, that’s the kind of player I am.“