The back row discusses life at the Ospreys
Popular Osprey back row Joe Bearman almost never became a rugby player, his first sporting love was football:
"I was 15 when I started playing rugby. When I was younger I wanted to be a footballer and I played it to quite a good level. When I was a teenager all my friends changed to rugby but I stayed playing football, then I saw how much they were enjoying playing and the social aspect to rugby so I decided to try it. Once I started I really enjoyed it and went from there".
Less than two years later, just before he turned 17, Joe signed his first professional contract with the Cornish Pirates. He stayed with the team for 8 years before joining the Newport Gwent Dragons and then moving to the Ospreys in 2011. Asked what made him choose the Ospreys as his next club the back row remarked:
"I'd had some good years and enjoyed my time at the Dragons but when the offer came in from the Ospreys it was a no brainer for me. I knew I'd love to play for them as they had won the league several times and they are a great team. I've really enjoyed my time here and hopefully this season I can stay fit, play well and get as many games as I can".
At 34 and in his third season with the region, Joe is one of the senior squad members, something he enjoys:
"It's great being one of the older guys here, I like to chat to the young lads and challenge them. I think the youngsters are doing well. Last week against the Tigers was a bit challenge for them. It's hard when you completely change the team to a new starting 15 to get them to gel. But we've got some really great players coming through like Matthew Morgan, Arthur Ellis and the Sam’s Lewis and Davies. Although I don't get to play with them much they all look really sharp in training and are working really hard.
I think it's hard in Wales to bleed new players as the standard below the regional game in the premiership is nowhere near the level of the championship in England. It's difficult for them to get really good game time week in week out. It's definitely a challenge for the young boys coming through now and for the clubs and regions".
Joe thinks the young squad will do well against Cardiff on Friday in the LV Cup though:
"It'll be a really good game, with it being a derby. We will know a lot of the young lads playing for Cardiff through age grade rugby so we will really go for it and I think we will do well. Especially as it's a home game. The Liberty is just class, the pitch is the best in the league and the fans are great. They always turn out to support us which is amazing. I'd like to be in the squad to play this week if I can. I know there's a few number 8's injured so we'll see how it goes".
See the next generation of the Ospreys (and possibly a few older ones!) at the Liberty Stadium this coming Friday 15th November, kick off 7.30pm. Tickets are just £15 for adults and £5 for children, OAPs and students. Tickets are available to purchase from the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office, online at www.ospreysrugby.com/buytickets and via the Ticket Hotline on 0844 815 6665