After a long season that has seen him feature in 18 of the 19 Magners League fixtures to date, Jerry Collins isn't looking at putting his feet up on the beach just yet.
The former All-Black has been an almost constant presence on the pitch this season, racking up an incredible 1369 Magners League minutes over the course of the campaign, more than any other player. Despite the immense physical effort he has put in, the inspirational back rower insists that he is as fired up and ready to go at the weekend when the Ospreys travel to Dublin to face Leinster in the Magners League Grand Final on Saturday as he has been at any time this year, saying that all that hard work has been about setting up the clash at the RDS.
"All the minutes I've played, all the hard work and effort, you trade them all in for this last 80 minutes" he commented:
"It's a good place to be at the end of a long season. You'd rather be still training, still working, and to be involved in this game than to have finished two weeks ago, as it means we are still in the chase to win it. I don't look at stats or pay attention to the number of games I'm playing but I know I've been involved in most of them and people tell me that I've had more game time than anyone else. It's not something I worry about, I'm paid to be a professional rugby player and that's what I want to be doing. I'd be more concerned if I wasn't playing!
"I'm really enjoying my rugby. We've put ourselves in a position where we are 80 minutes away from winning silverware so I won't be thinking about the minutes I've already played this season, this week I'm more concerned with what I have to do between now and 8.30 on Saturday night. I'm looking forward to it, this being the first time that there's been a Grand Final, there's a chance to make a little bit of history for the Ospreys."
Leinster's impressive home form has seen the Irish side go unbeaten at the RDS in the Magners League since September 2008, with their only home defeat this season coming in a narrow 12-9 loss against London Irish in the Heineken Cup back in October.
JC realises that his team face a tough task if they are to bring the Magners League trophy back to Ospreylia, but he is adamant that the region is up to the challenge:
"It's a great way to end the season. The boys have slogged it hard over the season and we've seen the good and the bad at times over the last nine months and, to be honest, Leinster are probably thinking the same thing. Like us they fell at the knockout stages of Europe and they will want the Magners League trophy to end the season on a high.
"Leinster don't lose very often at home, we all know that. It's probably one of the toughest places in European rugby to go and play, they were Heineken Cup champions last year, semi-finalists this year, and they finished first in the regular Magners League season so their quality is clear. Most people would consider us underdogs going into this, but that won't be on our mind. It's a final, and in these games it's all about what happens on the day and what you've achieved historically counts for nothing.
"We've played really well the last six weeks or so, but what matters is this weekend, and that we play our best football on Saturday night. Finals never tend to be the best of games, but you've got to give it everything, try to play your best game and hopefully, it's better than your oppositions.
"It should be a cracker of a game between two teams in good form at the end of the season. It will come down to two things; who makes the least mistakes and who converts the few opportunities that they will get. Going into a game like this you can't expect to get more than two or three chances and the winner will be the one who doesn't waste those opportunities."