Josh Thomas knows he’s at the perfect finishing school for a would-be Wales outside-half.
After all, the Ospreys youngster currently has a quartet of high grade number tens guiding him that would be the envy of almost every rugby club in the UK and beyond.
Thomas – whose team host Italians Zebre on Saturday night in a match that is live on S4C – has Stephen Myler, Gareth Anscombe, Brock James and James Hook overseeing his development at the Liberty Stadium.
Three of them – Englishman Myler as well as Welsh pair Anscombe and Hook – have played for their country, while Australian U21 cap James pulled the strings in European finals for Clermont Auvergne after deciding to leave his homeland for France.
Within the squad, 20-year-old Thomas can tap the wisdom of 36-year-old Myler as well as Wales’ Grand Slam winner Anscombe, who is working his way back to fitness after long-term injury.
When he’s training, then the local boy can call upon the craft of Ospreys back coach James as well as Hook, who retired 12 months ago after 15 years at the top end of the game to become the region’s kicking and skills coach.
“I’m pretty lucky,” says Thomas, who played for Wales U20s last season and Wales U18s before that.
“There are some quality tens around me at the Ospreys and it’s up to me just to try and pick their brains.
“The one thing they all had, and which I’m trying to learn, is the ability to control a game. It’s about being able to manage things under pressure, make the right call and not panic.
“Stephen and Gareth do that now on the field, just as Brock and James did when they were playing. I’m still listening and learning.”