New signing Richard Fussell met up with his new team-mates for the first time when the squad reported for pre-season testing on Monday, vowing to do what he can to challenge for a wing spot this season.
The 26-year old arrives at the region after five years at the Dragons, joining a strong pool of wingers at the Ospreys which includes British & Irish Lions, internationals and highly rated young talent, but the former Wales age-grade cap, who scored 24 tries in 82 appearances for the Rodney Parade based region, says that he has made the move to the Liberty Stadium because he believes in his ability to claim the shirt.
“It’s an exciting challenge" he admitted: "I was at the Dragons for five years, and it was like home for me. It was a big decision to move but I think I needed the change. I want to settle in quickly here and hopefully, I can do well for the Ospreys.
“I want to be playing regularly, just doing what I love, which is playing rugby. I want to be playing well, being seen, and you never know where that can take you, we’ll see what happens.
“If I didn’t think I’d be able to have an impact then I wouldn’t have come here. At the end of the day, I’m up against players like Shane Williams, Tommy Bowe and Nikki Walker, and there are some quality young players coming through. It’s a big challenge to force my way through that lot to get games, but I want to test myself, to prove what I'm capable of. I can only learn from working with the likes of top internationals, and hopefully I can progress as a player and really challenge for a place. I'm ambitious, which is why I've come to the Ospreys"
With the Ospreys confirming Fussell's move back in February, the player had to wait five months to link-up with his new team, but he says that now he's here, he can't wait to get started:
“It’s great being here at last, it’s been a while since I agreed to sign. To be honest with you, it’s like the first day at school, being the new boy coming in. There were nerves the first morning but everyone’s been really welcoming and looking to help me settle in.
“There are new challenges and whatever, but it’s great to be up and running now. I’ve spoken to Scott and the coaching team and there was no real message for me, it was just about encouragement. They told me that they wanted me to get involved straight away, to get stuck in. They said don’t be the quiet one in the background because I’m the new guy. They want me to do what I have to do... if it means I’m shouting at others, telling them what to do, they said to do it and be like the person who’s been here for years.
“It’s a professional environment, I know what players are like, they want to do their job to the best of their ability without distraction, and that’s what they want me to do. I'm really looking forward to the future here. It's going to be tough, but life as a professional rugby player is about stepping up to take these challenges."