Ricky Januarie says he can't wait to make his Ospreys debut after successfully coming through Friday afternoon's final training session.
The 27-year old Springbok has joined up with the Ospreys on a short-term loan to provide emergency cover in the scrum-half position following an unprecedented run of injuries in the position, and after playing a part in training at Overmach Parma Rugby Club ahead of Saturday’s Heineken Cup Pool 3 clash against Viadana, the Stormers and Western Province player has been declared ready for action.
Januarie, who has been capped 40 times by his country, was delayed by immigration red tape, but having finally secured the correct paperwork he finally met up with his new teammates in preparation for the game, which has been switched to Stadio Il Giglio in Reggio Emilia.
Speaking after Friday’s training session, Januarie said:
“I’m glad to be here with the squad finally, it’s been a difficult week with all the waiting but everything has worked out now and I’m looking forward to playing. From what I’ve seen in training I’m pretty happy, the style of play and the moves are similar to things I’ve done back home which is good, and I think that I will be able to settle in very quickly.
“I haven’t played for about five weeks now so it isn’t ideal coming straight in. It’s probably not the best preparation, but having met the squad and spent a bit of time with the boys I’m excited about getting straight into business. It’s going to be an eventful few weeks for me, it’s going to be a fantastic experience.”
Januarie admits that his knowledge of the Ospreys is limited to the game plans, plays and calls that he has received since sealing his loan move to the region two weeks ago, and the international players that he has clashed swords with over the years, be they Welsh caps, Lions or All Blacks. He said:
“I know that the Ospreys have had a few scrum halves injured, and I realise that with someone like Mike Phillips out, a British & Irish Lion, I’ve got to fill a big man’s shoes. For me, it’s a huge challenge and I’m excited. I know some of the guys, I’ve played against a few of them when they’ve played for their countries, and I know that they are good players. It’s a good experience for me all round, playing with these people who I’ve always had to play against, and to enjoy a new environment with a new team. Like I said, I’m really excited and I can’t wait to play on Saturday afternoon. The Heineken Cup is Europe’s number one tournament and it’s a new challenge for me. I know that there are a lot of guys injured in the squad at the moment, but we’ve got to be professional over the next couple of weeks against Viadana and make sure we do a proper job.
“Obviously, for me, this is a good chance for to show what I’m capable of doing. I missed the end of year tour, which wasn’t great for me, but now I have a point to prove. Instead of sitting around waiting for the new season back home, I can get onto the pitch to do what I do best, and hopefully, it will help the Ospreys.”