Jerry Collins has reported for pre-season training vowing to earn the right to wear the Ospreys shirt next season.
COLLINS ARRIVES IN OSPREYLIA
The 28-year old former All-Black arrives in Ospreylia having signed a two-year deal with the region after spending last season in France with Toulon, and the back rower says thathis past reputation in the game, with 48 caps for New Zealand, will count for nothing next season as he aims to make his mark in an Ospreys shirt. He commented:
"It's an honour for me to be able to come here and represent the Ospreys, but I realise that I can't take anything for granted. There's a very strong squad here with options in every position so I will have to earn the right to wear the shirt, which is exactly how it should be.
"The first goal I have to set myself is to put the work in during pre-season to make sure that my body is in the best condition to compete, and once I've done that, we have a couple of pre-season matches to show what I can do on the field before the season proper starts. It's not about past reputations, fitness and form is what dictates whether someone is going to play. I realise that there is real competition for places and I need to be on top of my game if I want to make an impact and help the Ospreys succeed."Collins arrived in Wales from his French home on Tuesday evening, and had little time to settle in before reporting to the Ospreys Llandarcy base for training on Wednesday morning where he was thrown straight into the mix with the rest of the squad. He says that having enjoyed his first experience with his new teammates and coaches, he is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead:
"I arrived in Wales last night and met up with the squad this morning for the first time, doing two training sessions. There are three or four familiar faces from New Zealand, which certainly helps you to settle in, but the welcome from everyone has been first class. The atmosphere and the set-up reminds me of back home in many ways, it's really friendly and welcoming. When I got here this morning everyone was quick to shake my hand and introduce themselves and then it was down to business, but they made it very easy for me to just slide into the Ospreys way of doing things.
"Obviously I'm aware of a lot of the guys, I've played against a lot of them for Wales and I'm really looking forward to working alongside people like Shane Williams, Ryan Jones, Gavin Henson and the Joneses up front, but there are a lot of new faces for me, I understand that there's some great young players coming through and it'll be great to work with these guys as well and help them along the way. My job now is to learn all the names, learn all the moves in training and help to take the Ospreys forward."