As the Ospreys wrap up their preparations for Saturday's game against Gloucester with a special training run in Bridgend on Friday afternoon, Scott Johnson has said that he's pleased with how the build-up for the new season is going.
With two wins from two in the bag, following a win against a Regional Select XV at Aberavon and a hard fought 31-28 at Headingley against Leeds Carnegie last Saturday, Johnson is expecting another tough test at the Liberty Stadium when the Cherry and Whites arrive at the weekend:
“Pre-season is about building up game on game, testing yourself, and making sure you are ready to peak at the right time. Things have gone well so far this pre-season, we’ve had a chance to take a look at a few of the kids who will be getting a chance over the course of the season and generally I’ve got to say I’m pretty pleased with them.
“When you look at the side that played in Leeds, you can’t help but be excited about the future for the Ospreys. There were kids throughout that side playing against a tough old English Premiership team but they really manned up, especially when they could have buckled in the second half, and got their reward. That was exactly the kind of effort that we want to see. It wasn’t a perfect performance by any stretch of the imagination, there’s a lot of improvement needed by the time we play Ulster right across the field, but it was a gutsy effort.
“There are a few more senior guys coming into the squad for Saturday’s game, but they will be aware that some of the boys who’ve been involved have really put their hand up. Competition for places and strength in depth is important for us, especially with the extra games over a season now the Italians are in the Magners, so it’s good to see the guys knowing that there are boys who want to take the shirt off them.
“We’ll slowly reintegrate the internationals over the next few weeks, but we’ve got a good mix at the moment, in terms of youth and experience. We absolutely aren’t the finished article, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but the guys know what we want from them, they want to get there and we’re heading down the right road.”