Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde has backed Ospreys prop Craig Mitchell to fight for the tight-head jersey with the return of British & Irish Lions prop Adam Jones just around the corner.
Mitchell has started all three of Wales’ RBS 6 Nations games in the absence of fellow Osprey Jones but with the later expected to feature for the Magners League Champions against Glasgow this weekend he faces a strong challenge for a starting berth against Ireland at the Millennium Stadium a week on Saturday.
McBryde however believes the 24-year-old has made a good impact on the management in his three outings so far.
“Craig has been waiting in the wings for a while, I can’t remember the last time he played three full games in a row so it’s been great for him,” he said.
“He is still learning and he is going to make some mistakes but it is all good experience.
“He’s gone from strength to strength.
“I’ve always known he’s had the potential, but having potential and performing are two different things.
“We can’t ask a lot more of him at the moment, he’s been doing everything.
“Italy targeted the scrum in the last game, but the turning point for me was when they decided to go for a five-metre scrum after a lineout and we pushed them back off their own ball.”
The Ospreys will be looking to close the gap between themselves and lead leaders Munster when they face the Warriors at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.