After picking up the Magners League try-of-the-year award Ashley Beck is hoping that his breakthrough season will continue to the very final weekend with the Ospreys once again contesting the Grand Final at the end of May.
Having become the youngest ever Magners League player when he came off the bench at the Liberty Stadium against Leinster in November 2007, aged just 17 years and 222 days, the former Tonmawr and Aberavon centre has enjoyed his most profitable season in an Ospreys shirt yet, making 15 appearances in total, including 12 starts, with three tries, including rounding off the eye-catching length of the pitch team effort against Glasgow at the Liberty Stadium in March that saw him collect an award in Dublin on Sunday night.
Having only turned 21 three weeks ago, Beck has made a huge impact over the last nine months, featuring 11 times during the Ospreys run to the Magners League semi-final this Saturday, and he says that he’s looking forward to hopefully being involved in the play-offs for the first time ever.
“It’s pretty exciting to be involved at this stage of the season, hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to travel to Munster and be involved at Thomond Park on Saturday” he said.
“I’ve had a lot more game time this season, I’ve been able to get more experience and I’ve really enjoyed being involved, particularly getting a really good run of games when the internationals have been away. Personally it’s been a good season for me, now it’s great to be in a position where we can end it on a high as a team.
“It’s been fantastic being part of the team and wearing an Ospreys shirt. It’s my home region, I’ve come through the system here and I’m proud to play for the Ospreys.”
If he’s involved on Saturday night it will be his second taste of Thomond Park after he made his first Ospreys start there in the final game of the 2008/09 campaign, an evening when Munster claimed their last Magners League title, and he is hoping for a different outcome this time:
“It’s going to be difficult but we’ll go there believing that we can do it. We’ve made it hard for ourselves over the last few weeks and haven’t really kicked on like we hoped we would. We got over the line on Friday night in Aironi and we’ve got to start again now.
“Munster have done really well this season in the Magners and most people will expect them to win so we will definitely be underdogs. They are a good team who have been there and done it but we’ll pull together this week and work hard, we’ll have to be at our best and really play as a team if we want to keep the season going until the end of May.”
With his award for the try against Glasgow now safely installed at home, Beck said while it’s nice to be recognised individually, the team ethic he has referred to was illustrated in the award winning try itself:
“I’m proud to have received the award. It’s good to score tries, but it was a team effort. Biggs won the turnover and a few of the boys were involved, Isaacs, Fuss, Duncan and Tips. I was looking to get it away to Tips when I was tackled but managed to shake him off and run it over. It’s always nice to get recognition but I’d swap that for a place in the final anyday.”