Six years after he left the Ospreys to ply his trade in England, Wales’ 2005 Grand Slam hooker Mefin Davies is ready to make the most of his second chance at the Welsh region.
The 39-times capped hooker Davies will challenge two more Welsh international hookers, Huw Bennett and Richard Hibbard, for the No 2 shirt at the Liberty Stadium in the new season.
Davies, who has signed a two-year contract that will take him through to his 40th birthday, suffered a snapped tendon in his bicep at the end of last season that forced him to miss Leicester Tigers' Guinness Premiership final triumph. But the injury is now behind him and he has successfully completed his rehab.
Now Davies is targeting more titles – he won the Amlin Challlnege Cup with Gloucester in 2006 and was a runner-up in the Guinness Premiership finals of 2007 and 2008 with Gloucester and then Tigers – on his return to the Ospreys, who won the Magners League title for the third time last season.
"They've put me through my paces and there's no concern or anything about the injury – I'm ready to go," said Davies ahead of Monday's official start to the Ospreys' pre-season training.
"I thought I'd have a bit of an opportunity to miss a little bit at the start of pre-season for the first time in my career, but no chance.
"I've had a good innings in rugby and fortunately I've not suffered much with injury. I've never really had anything that lasted more than two weeks so it has been a bit of a shock having to take some time out.
"It was a different era when I was with the Ospreys last time – faces have changed and the circumstances aren't the same. My history with the region goes back much further than that anyway because I was with Neath for four years before going to Pontypridd.
"If I could pick any region to play for the Ospreys would be the one and I'm fortunate that I've got the opportunity to do so again. The future is what's important now.
"When you are starting with a new team it is important to make a good impression from the start. You need to get the respect of your fellow players and pre-season is the time for that.
"I know it's going to be hard because there's a great squad here with real strength in the front row. It's going to be a tough challenge, but I think I've shown throughout my career that I thrive on big challenges.
"I'm coming into a new environment, I'm the new boy here and I'm looking forward to the challenge."