Namibian flier Lesley Klim is looking to make up for lost time after his first year as an Osprey turned into a season to forget.
The 24-year old was announced as an Osprey in March last year, joining from Doncaster where he made a big impression during a six month stay having finished as top try scorer for Windhoek based side Welwitschias in the Currie Cup in consecutive seasons.
Prior to arriving in Wales, Klim was involved in Rugby Africa Gold Cup action, scoring five tries in four games across the summer, before picking up a hamstring injury that eventually led to surgery at the end of October.
Reflecting on a frustrating year Klim, who can play centre or wing, said he is now feeling fresh and ready to go:
“Coming here last summer I had big plans, big hopes, obviously, and I enjoyed a really positive summer of test rugby. Looking back at it, it is so frustrating as it was my first senior injury. It seemed like I couldn’t quite get fully fit, just as I was coming back I would have one game, get an injury, play one or two and get another injury.
“My focus has been on getting over last season’s problems and getting better. I’m glad all of that has passed now. Everyone knows that I had quite an unfortunate time last season, things didn’t go my way, but at the moment I’m delighted to say that I’m in very good shape. I feel good, I’m glad that everything seems to be behind me and I’m looking forward to the new season.”
As the 18/19 campaign drew to a close, Klim saw Principality Premiership action with Aberavon and Neath, giving an exciting glimpse of his obvious potential – something the Namibian wants to build on.
“I wanted to play and I wanted to play for the Ospreys, because that is why I am here. I wanted to add value to the squad but I couldn’t do that. It was frustrating for me but I did get some games and the Neath supporters saw what I hope they think were a few good things. I knew what I really wanted was to be with the Ospreys but I have to look to this season and I hope I’ll give the team, the coaches, that value.”
Before he pulls on an Ospreys shirt, Klim is set to meet up with his national squad once again after being named in Namibia’s provisional Rugby World Cup squad. If he makes the final cut for Japan, Klim could be testing himself in Pool B against Canada, Italy, South Africa and New Zealand, a challenge he is clearly excited about.
“The World Cup is obviously a big thing for any rugby player that only happens every four years, so I want to be a part of it with Namibia” he said.
“It’s an opportunity for me to play well against top opposition and I hope that Ospreys fans will like what they see of me. I’m excited about the opportunity and I’m looking forward to having a great time at the World Cup.
“After that I’ll come back here, do the very best I can and have a good year for the Ospreys to make up for the disappointment and frustration of the last year.”