After undergoing keyhole surgery at the end of last season, scrum-half Rhys Webb in well on the road to recovery and on target to return to action in time for the start of the Rabodirect Pro 12 campaign on the first weekend of September.
The 22-year old had a minor procedure on his shoulder in May and is making good progress under the watchful eye of the medical team and conditioning coaches as the countdown to the new season continues.
Speaking about the race for fitness before the season kicks-off, Webb said:
“The shoulder is feeling 100 per cent again which is good, I’m getting some strength back there. At the moment I’m working hard in rehab and conditioning, the physios and the conditioning coaches are really pushing me to get me ready for the start of the season.
“I’m doubling up really, getting the rehab in and trying to ensure I don’t miss out on pre-season work but it’ll be worth the effort to be able to be involved on the opening weekend. Fingers crossed, I’m on target for that which is great news. Anything before that is a bonus.”
2010/11 turned out to be something of a breakthrough season for Webb that saw him clock up a total of 21 appearances for the region, 18 of them coming as starts, and he is absolutely clear about what helped him make an impact, as he explained:
“It’s about being more professional in how you approach matches, and concentrating more on analysis more than anything. Learning my roles and what the opposition are doing. It’s important to watch them, pay extra attention to what my opposite number does, really work on it and then by game time you get a good understanding of what you are up against. It can make a big difference to how you perform at the weekend.”
With the impending arrival of new signing, Crusaders and Samoa scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i post Rugby World Cup, Webb knows that he faces a tough fight if he is to keep hold of the number nine shirt he made his own in the second half of last season, but as just one of a number of young players who shone for the Ospreys in that period he is under no illusions of the task ahead of him:
“I’ve been keeping an eye on him (Fotuali’i) over the summer, he’s a quality player and we’ll welcome him into the squad. It’s going to be interesting fighting for the jersey. I’m looking forward to it, the competition should make us both better players. Hopefully, I’ll get an opportunity at the start of the season, but when he comes here after the World Cup is when it’ll get interesting. It should be good for everyone
“To be honest, I’m just really looking forward to just getting on the pitch again and being involved with the boys. Hopefully as a young group we can take some of the positives from last season and build on it to do even better for the team.”