After missing out on Japan tour through injury Ashley Beck can't wait to pull on an Ospreys shirt again
He may have missed out on this month’s Wales trip to Japan after being forced to withdraw days before the team headed off the Land of the Rising Sun with a groin problem, but Ashley Beck is already looking forward to next season.
The Ospreys centre is keen to put his disappointment behind him and get back into action with his region as soon as possible after suffering something of a stop-start six months that has seen him make just six appearances since the New Year’s Eve.
“Of course it was disappointing to miss out” he said, referring to the Japan trip.
“It would have been a good opportunity for me to possibly play international rugby again and that’s something every player wants to do. I’ve not had the best run with injuries since the start of the year though so it’s best that I’m able to sort it all out now and have a good pre-season.
“I’ve had a few knocks and spent a bit of time out injured at different stages since the Dragons games over Christmas so hopefully having the summer off and getting all the little niggles sorted out will allow me to get in a full pre-season and I’ll be raring to go again.
“I don’t want to become known as one of those players who are always injured. I want to play regularly and try to fulfil the potential that the coaches think I’ve got.
“People say I’m 23, I’m only young, but when you think about it I played my first game for the Ospreys when I was only 17 so I’ve had a good six years of it. It’s important to me that I have a good season. I didn’t really kick-on last season from where I got to in 2011/12 so I’m looking forward to getting started again and putting the last few months behind me.”
Looking forward to 2012/13, Beck is excited both at the constantly improving level of competition in the RaboDirect PRO12 and at the exciting draw in the Heineken Cup that has seen the Ospreys pooled with familiar foes Leinster, along with Northampton Saints and Castres.
“Those are the kind of games you want to play in, tough matches against big teams” he insisted.
“It gets you excited. We are playing against former Heineken Cup champions, the French champions and the English finalists. It’s good to go up against teams of that standard as it allows you to see where you are. There’s no better way of doing that than playing against those three teams.
“Then you’ve got the Rabo which is getting a lot tougher every year. Look at what Treviso have brought to the competition and then you have the Scottish teams strengthening as well, getting better and better. It’s a difficult competition where every game matters throughout the season, and everybody can beat each other. That makes it an exciting competition to be playing in as you know you can’t take your foot off the gas or you’ll pay for it.”