Swansea RFC's Nicky Thomas made his Ospreys debut when he replaced the injured Nikki Walker during the first half of Friday's Magners League draw against Glasgow at the Liberty Stadium.
The 25-year old from Mumbles has been handed an opportunity with the region after excelling for the All-Whites in the Welsh Premiership this season, scoring 112 points in the first nine games of the season from full back, including 10 tries. He was voted September’s Principality Player of the Month, before capping a fine start to the 09/10 season with his Ospreys bow this weekend.
Speaking post-match, Thomas said that his call-up came out of the blue, and having enjoyed his first taste of regional rugby this weekend, he is keen for more:
“It’s obviously a really exciting time for me. I came on a little bit earlier this evening than I thought it would but I really enjoyed it. I haven’t had much time to prepare for the game, I had no idea I may be involved until I had a phone call on Wednesday from Sean Holley, I’d been spending some time training with the Ospreys, and he asked me did I feel that I’ve been enjoying it enough to go on the bench tonight. It didn’t take much thinking about, I told him I’d love to be involved.
“I think I did okay. The conditions weren’t great, but I can hold my head up high after the game, I don’t think I let myself down at all, which is all I can ask for after my debut if I’m honest. I’ve had a chat with the coaching team and they’ve said that I should get some more game time in the Anglo Welsh as they are keen to see what I can do at this level. Hopefully I can prove myself, and do myself justice in these games, and who knows where it’s going to lead. The coaches have told me to just go out and play my game, they are watching, and there’s every chance that if I do well they’ll ask me to stay around here on a more permanent basis, which would be fantastic.
“It can be difficult to get your chance in regional rugby, there’s only so many players that a team can have in their squad, so I’m pleased to get a chance at the Ospreys. The positive side of the Ospreys having so many Welsh internationals in the squad is that when they are away it opens up opportunities for other players, and it’s excellent news for Welsh rugby, and for the Premiership, that they are looking at that level to see what potential there is playing in that league week in, week out.
“I’ve had a good start to the season with Swansea and scored a few tries, but that’s down to the team doing well as a whole. We’ve been getting good results, the backline is seeing plenty of good ball and I’ve been able to get on the end of a few things. Obviously my confidence is high at the moment, and maybe I’ve matured as a player recently, which is showing on the pitch.”