With pre-season for the senior squad now well under way, the Ospreys U18 training squad have also reported back for action at the region’s Llandarcy training HQ.
The structural changes to the age-grade season may mean that Eyasses season won’t be kicking off their 2014/15 campaign until much later than previous years, but an initial extended training squad has been selected with a view to preparing for the forthcoming season.
The pre-season period will give the coaching team an opportunity to look at the young talent coming through the system and allowing the players to work with the coaches to develop their skill sets over the summer.
A challenging set of pre-season fixtures have been arranged for the squad, with the Eyasses taking on Northampton Saints away on August 15th before welcoming Worcester Warriors to Ospreylia on August 20th, as Elite Performance Manager Dan Griffiths explains:
"We wanted to put together a tough preseason for our players so we've been working with teams from the Aviva to give our boys the experience of and the chance to play against different brands and styles of rugby.
“Previously our squads have really benefitted from playing in different tournaments against teams like Saracens so this year playing Northampton and Worcester will be a really great chance for the boys to test themselves at a high level.
In a change to previous years structure, this season the players will return to School and College rugby before the regional age grade competition gets underway. This structure will offer more opportunities to all the players involved across Ospreylia.
"As has happened before, the door is never closed to players that perform well and put their hands up for selection” added Griffiths.
“Through the college competition, we will be monitoring the players that have already been identified and been included in the training squad, but we will also be looking at new talent who could potentially push for places in the RAG competition.
“We're never afraid of bringing players in to the system and giving them an opportunity that they deserve and warrant through performance. Selection will be very much based on what all players do in the upcoming months of rugby".