The three latest Ospreys to receive the call-up into the national set-up have given their first reaction to the news.
OSPREYS TRIO'S PRIDE AT FIRST WALES CALL-UP
23 year-old's Craig Mitchell and Jonathan Spratt, as well as 20 year-old Gareth Owen were all named on Monday in Robin McBryde's Wales squad for the summer tests in the USA and Canada, the new names amongst the 10 strong Ospreys contingent in the touring party.
Gareth Owen commented:
"I'm obviously delighted to be going on the summer tour and, hopefully, pulling on the red shirt which is something that everybody dreams of when they are playing rugby as a kid. I was looking forward to a big season this year having made my Ospreys debut last season, only to get injured early on and miss a big part of the season. Because of the injury my focus has been just to get fit, get back into the squad and get some rugby under my belt. To be going on the Wales tour is an unexpected bonus and I'm really looking forward to what will be a brilliant experience."
Craig Mitchell said:
"It's really come as a shock, I never expected it for one minute. I had a text congratulating me on the call-up but I didn't know the number so thought it was someone on a wind-up. Then Hibbard and Duncan rang me and that's when I started to believe it. The aim for every rugby player is to play for their country, so to be part of the squad is a brilliant achievement. I'm going to make sure that I enjoy the tour. Just being there and being in a new environment will be a great experience, but hopefully I'll be able to compete for a place in one of the test sides which would be fantastic."
Jonathan Spratt added:
"To be named in the Welsh squad is a tremendous honour. The last year for me has been about new experiences and personal development and it doesn't get any bigger than a Wales tour, and possibly a first cap. I had a great time playing in New Zealand last summer, it was an incredible experience that really benefited me personally and in rugby terms. It was disappointing to then be ruled out for the first part of the season, but I've been enjoying my rugby since I've been back fit and I'm delighted to be going to the USA and Canada with the national team. There are some great players on the tour with plenty of experience so it won't be easy to break into the side, but I'm going to make sure that I give it everything and get the most from the experience."
Ospreys Elite Performance Director Andrew Hore added:
"I'd like to offer congratulations to Craig, Gareth and Jonathan on their first call-up to the senior Wales squad on behalf of everybody at the Ospreys. We place enormous importance on the development of local young talent, it is at the heart of everything we do here, and these three guys have come through the Ospreys ranks, following in the footsteps of people like Ian Evans, Alun Wyn Jones, James Hook and Dan Biggar, who have already graduated from the Ospreys Academy to become full internationals.
"We take great pride in our record in player development, and have invested heavily in a structure that will enable us to continue identifying and nurturing future Welsh internationals, ensuring the long term sustainability of the Ospreys."