Teenager Jordan Collier became the latest local youngster to step off the Ospreys’ development pathway when he came off the bench to make his debut in Friday night’s win over Connacht.
The 19-year old, who came through the regional age-grade system after starting out at Tonmawr RFC, has already played an impressive 33 times for Neath and he made his regional bow as a 66th minute replacement for fellow debutant Ieuan Jones.
It was an action packed cameo that saw Collier involved at a number of key moments in the closing stages as he made a favourable impression before incurring the wrath of the officials and being sent to the sin-bin in the final minute.
Having had time to reflect on his debut, the former Cwrt Sart pupil admitted to pre-match nerves ahead of the game.
“It was a good experience, I really enjoyed it” said Collier.
“All the nerves before the game, all that stuff, it’s a relief to have got my first game out of the way. Hopefully, now that I’ve made my debut it won’t be as bad next time.
“I was excited at just being in and round the boys, learning from training with the senior players and preparing for the game. There’s an edge on matchday but sitting on the bench, after 20 or 30 minutes, all I wanted was to get on and have a chance.
“I was happy to be involved but a sin-bin isn’t exactly what I wanted on my debut if I’m honest!”
Collier was part of the senior group in the week prior to the game, joining in preparations for the match, an experience he says has highlighted to him what level of work and commitment it will need if he wants to make a permanent breakthrough at his home region.
“Being in and around the senior team for the week was a great experience” he said.
“You learn so much just training with good players like Tips and Sammy Lewis, you see how professional they are. There is so much preparation work on and off the field in the week leading up to a game, it’s an eye opener really for what it takes to be an Osprey.
“The standard is immense and I know now what I’ve got to do going forward. It’s all about development for me. I’m learning my trade so I’m keeping my head down, working hard, and learning every day.”
Friday night sees the Ospreys heading to the Gnoll for the LV= Cup game against Saracens and Collier is hoping that he’ll make the cut for the game, allowing him to wear a regional jersey at his hometown club ground:
“We’re playing at the Gnoll this week and fingers crossed I’ll make selection. Hopefully I’ll get some game time and kick on from there.
“It’ll be nice to play there for the Ospreys. I know the ground, it’s a bit of home comfort for me really as I’m used to playing there with Neath, so it’ll be a good experience for me if selected.
“The coaches have told us all that standards are important this week, we’ve got to keep them high. The internationals may have gone but we can’t let standards drop. We’ve got to maintain them on and off the pitch and make sure we put in some good performances in the LV= Cup. Whoever is picked knows what’s expected of them.”