If Adam Beard’s resurgence has been one of many tales of the season on the Ospreys, the quiet growth of his younger lock associate has additionally excited various folks in south-west Wales.
Rhys Davies is 22 and already being tipped to go locations in senior rugby.
Across the time he dedicated to the Ospreys, an in depth observer of the scene in England and Wales predicted of the the 6ft 6in, 17st 13lb ahead: “He’ll play for Wales inside two years.”
How has the journey been going since?
Let’s simply say not a lot has occurred to undermine that specific forecast.
In seven Guinness PRO14 video games since November, Davies has proven himself to be a dependable line-out operator who has a relish for work across the area. When he missed a deal with towards Connacht final outing, it was the primary time an opposition attacker had evaded him since his return to Wales from Bathtub final summer time.
A 98 p.c deal with success fee within the league this time period, 60 hits nailed from 61 makes an attempt, will not be unhealthy going for any younger participant.
And Davies doesn’t shirk graft within the close-quarter exchanges. “He’s a tricky child who likes to be within the thick of it,” an Ospreys insider mentioned this week. “That’s nice to see for a younger second row.”
Enjoying at lock calls for many issues, together with technical expertise at line-outs, energy to push in scrums and a willingness to graft selflessly across the area, however proper up there with any of these necessities is the flexibility to be bodily.
Watch Alun Wyn Jones’ performance for Wales against Ireland lately, involving dominant hits, immense work at rucks and mauls and a cussed refusal to take a step again at any level — all after a two-month harm layoff. Anybody describing such a show as ‘astonishing’ wouldn’t be far improper.
Davies is a good distance from these ranges — after all he’s.
However he’s a younger participant on an upward curve and his coach on the Ospreys, Toby Sales space, has solely reward for the most recent mannequin on the Ospreys second-row manufacturing line, saying: “He’s actually thrilling.
“I’ve been actually impressed with how far he’s are available in a brief time period. We speak about expertise, however expertise isn’t nearly whether or not a participant improves. It’s about how briskly a participant improves.
“He’s undoubtedly one who’s accelerated rapidly.
“There are others on the Ospreys, too, like Keiran Williams and Will Griffiths — perhaps even Reuben Morgan-Williams.
“However Rhys has achieved nicely.
“He performs is ready the place there’s quite a lot of competitors with Brad Davies, Al Wyn (Jones), Lloyd Ashley and Beardy (Adam Beard), however he’s received himself in a bodily situation to ship, and ship constantly.
“We now have a couple of inner awards which he’s been the recipient of, the unseen stuff, which exhibits that he’s undoubtedly dedicated to us and his personal performances.
“One of the best praise I pays him is to level out that once we’ve had lots of people away on worldwide obligation, our efficiency hasn’t diminished in that space.
“That exhibits he has potential.”
Davies really began on the Ospreys earlier than heading for Millfield Faculty and a stint with Bath, the place former Wales lock Luke Charteris aided his growth. There was a settling-in interval when he returned to Wales, however he hasn’t seemed again since.
He says: “It’s been actually good.
“It took me a short time to get used to a brand new membership and environment, however I’ve labored my method into the primary workforce and I am actually having fun with the video games.
“Toby’s been nice in giving us a licence to play and he’s helped me no finish within the prep and within the set-piece. We’ve been going nicely as a pack — it’s at all times good to go ahead.
“The boys are nice, too.
“We’re a tight-knit group.
“Thus far the transfer has been all the pieces I would hoped it might be.”
The Swansea-born participant may simply have been fazed by the prospect of attempting to safe game-time amid a second row pool stocked with such expertise, however he’s a teen who needs to be taught.
“It’s been nice to coach with world-class second rows,” he says.
“They’re all nice blokes as nicely.
“Brad’s prime class and I’ve a very good relationship with Beardy. I’ve been enjoying alongside him lately and he’s very calm and picked up. He helps with the line-out, he’s very clear and he’s a really good player.
“Alun Wyn’s a real skilled and also you simply have to absorb all the pieces he does and soak it up.
“The element he goes into within the line-out, the line-out defence, line-out assault, performs off the line-out, small particulars like clearing out rucks — he’s 100% in all these issues.
“He simply does the fundamentals rather well and has a piece ethic you possibly can solely admire.
“That’s the place I wish to get to, with that work ethic, that week-on-week consistency. He doesn’t have many unhealthy video games. He’s at all times 100%.”
The 74-cap former Wales lock Charteris was additionally an enormous assist at The Rec — “he mentored me and helped me within the line-out and was a very huge affect,” says Davies.
However, finally, a younger participant has to do it himself. It’s the person in query who has to do all of the extras, who has to try continually to enhance and it’s the participant himself who has to guide the lifetime of knowledgeable in all facets.
Brief cuts lead solely up cul-de-sacs.
Some younger gamers grasp these fundamentals higher than others.
Davies seems to be one.
For him, the longer term seems to be brilliant.
He’s a younger participant we’ll be listening to much more about.