Loose head prop Marc Thomas has made a big impression with the Ospreys during this season's LV= Cup campaign, making the starting line-up in all four of the region's games.
The 22-year old, who plays his club rugby for Bridgend Ravens at the Riverside Hardware Brewery Field, and with Ospreys loose heads Ryan Bevington and Nicky Smith away on international duty with the senior and U20 Wales teams respectively, Thomas hopes that his LV= Cup experience will lead to more Ospreys game time.
Talking after Sunday night’s defeat against Harlequins, Thomas said:
“It’s been a great experience. It’s a bit of a step-up from what I’m used to with Bridgend but I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to learn from people like Duncan.
“Bevs is away with Wales, and the U20s are away too, so hopefully I’ve done enough to get another chance in the PRO12 games that are coming up. If not I’ll go back to Bridgend, keep working hard, and keep learning.
“It’s a physical challenge because it can be tougher than I’ve been used to. I’ve worked with the conditioners, had some time off from rugby this season to bulk up and put a bit of weight one, but now I just want to keep on playing and take my chance the best I can.”
Reflecting on his own performance in a difficult contest against a Harlequins team that has topped both its Heineken and LV= pools, as well as currently sitting on top of the Aviva Premiership table and having already secured this season’s ‘A League’ crown, Thomas said it was important that he learnt from Sunday’s experiences, good and bad.
“I was pleased generally, happy enough with my performance” Thomas commented.
“There were a few personal errors for me to look at and work on when we get back into training. I’ll speak to Humph and people like Dunc who will give me honest feedback on how I went and where I need to improve.
“As a pack we went forward a few times, won a few penalties, and that makes you happy but it’s swings and roundabouts at times. You win some, you lose some, and that was how it went out there so it was good but we can still get better.
“It was nice to come back to the Brewery. I play my club rugby here so it’s nice to play in front of the local fans. It’s disappointing about the result but now we have to look forward to Friday in Ulster.
“It’s been a massive couple of weeks for people like me, playing against the Dragons and Harlequins, and hopefully we can kick on and get more game time in the Rabo now.
“There are lots of front row players away with Wales at different levels so that means there may be an opportunity but I won’t take anything for granted. Hopefully I’ve been able to impress the coaches and if I’ve done well enough then I may be able to stay involved over the next few weeks.”