Fussell wants positive start
Defending champions raring to go says Ospreys back
Last Updated: 28/08/12 1:46pm
Richard Fussell: Strange time of year
Richard Fussell is keen get off to a positive start when Ospreys launch their RaboDirect PRO12 title defence in Treviso this weekend.
The Welsh outfit have endured a tough pre-season build-up, suffering defeats to both Clermont Auvergne and Bath.
With more than 40 players in action over 160 minutes of rugby the matches have given Ospreys' coaches an opportunity to take a close look at their squad before the real battle commences.
And Fussell believes there are plenty of positives that the side will be able to take with them into the season ahead.
"It's a strange time of the year really" said the 28-year-old ago fullback/wing, who has scored 12 tries in 53 appearances for the club since joining from Newport Gwent Dragons two years ago.
"You are trying to take the things you do on the training pitch, fine tune them, and transfer them into a match situation. That's been the main thing for us. Not everything works as you'd hope and it can be frustrating but it's important that you keep things in perspective, as a player, coach or supporter."
Richard Fussell Quotes of the week
"You are trying to take the things you do on the training pitch, fine tune them, and transfer them into a match situation. That's been the main thing for us.
"Not everything works as you'd hope and it can be frustrating but it's important that you keep things in perspective, as a player, coach or supporter.
"We've had a good look at a lot of different people and combinations, with two completely different match-day squads, and a lot of young players have had a chance as well.
"That's as important as anything else, giving these young guys coming through a go so the coaches know if they are ready to step up or not should they be needed to play at any stage.
Fussell said he was looking forward to seeing the impact the new faces will make at the Liberty Stadium, over the coming season.
"There are young guys like Matthew Morgan, who's always exciting to watch, people like Tom Grabham who is an exciting prospect switching from a nine to the wing and scoring a try against Bath, he's got electrifying pace and good skills," he added.
"It's also good to have Jonathan Spratt back this year with his experience. He's a quality player and will bring something different, especially with the benefit of his year with London Irish.
"There are youngsters coming through across the park now, with young forwards also developing well and starting to bring a bit of pressure on the more established players.
"It bodes well for the future. It's up to older players like myself to rise to the challenge and to help drive the Ospreys forward again this season."
Now, says Fussell, he and his teammates are eager to get their 2013 campaign underway with victory in Northern Italy on Friday night.
"It's been a long hard pre-season," he said. "But it's gone well and I'm feeling pretty good to be honest.
"We've done a lot of hard work on our fitness levels in pre-season and getting our game prepped up ready for the start of the PRO12, and we want to make sure that we spend the next few days getting our heads right to go to Treviso and get a positive start out there.
"Pre-season is always tough and this year is no exception, but it does bring you closer together as a team. Everyone is eager and ready to go against Treviso at the weekend now."