As he prepares for the start of another new season, Mefin Davies is also beginning to lay the foundations for a post-playing career in coaching, having accepted the post of ‘C’ Group coach at the region.
In addition to combining working with the next generation of Ospreys at Llandarcy between 7 and 9am each week day morning, the former Wales hooker will also pass on his years of experience to players at Swansea and Bridgend as the coaching team look to establish a true Ospreys style right the way through the development pathway.
Davies, who returned to the Ospreys last summer more than five years after heading across the Severn Bridge to play first for Gloucester, and then Leicester, says that he is looking forward to the new challenge of coaching:
“When you are reaching the end of your career, then the next best thing is to stay involved on a day-to-day basis and be involved on the coaching side. I’ve got plenty of experience and I suppose it’s easy for an individual to take their own experience for granted and assume that everyone around them has done what they have.
“One thing I’ve realised is that there are plenty of youngsters coming through who don’t have that experience and if I can do my bit to help then I will. Too many players just walk away from the game when they stop playing and that’s a real shame as youngsters need someone with that experience to help, just like I did all those years ago.
“It’s a new challenge for me. There are plenty of do’s and don’ts that I’m learning along the way. I guess like anyone starting off I’ll make mistakes but I want to be the best coach I can be and I want to help these young players coming through at the Ospreys to be as good as they can.”
Although he is moving into coaching, Davies has no intention of hanging up his playing boots just yet. Indeed, with there being a real possibility of both Huw Bennett and Richard Hibbard heading to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup in September, he remains 100 per cent focussed on ensuring he is ready to answer the call to deputise:
“At the moment, I’m primarily concerned about pre-season. I’m looking forward to the start of another new season as a player and that’s my priority at the moment. Being a World Cup year, we are likely to lose one or maybe two hookers with Wales so I have to make sure I’m fit enough and good enough to be considered for selection by the Ospreys at the start of the season. I’m hoping to be involved against Lyon and then Russia at the Liberty on August 21st.
“When the boys come back after the World Cup and obviously depending on how the other two guys are, basically, I think that’s when I’ll really start to earn my corn. The type of guy I am, I’ll help out by whatever means I can, working with the ‘C’ group and at Swansea and Bridgend.
“It’s a little bit of a step into the unknown at the moment to be honest but I’m excited about it. I’ve been down to Bridgend with Steve Tandy already, just to help out there with the forwards, and hopefully, moving on I’ll be spending more time in the areas where I’m required.”
As the old man of the squad, Mefin says that he intends to keep going as long as he can:
“It’s quite funny when you ask some of the guys how old they are and they say they were born in ’92 or ’93, which doesn’t seem a long time ago. Well, it’s not that long ago really, when you’re my age.
“Obviously I want to keep on playing as long as possible, that’s what I want to do more than anything. Everybody I speak to tells me that you’re a long time retired, once you’re out, you’re out. I have to be realistic about things, I don’t realise my age sometimes, and I just want to keep on going.”