Ellis Jenkins may have made his Wales debut against New Zealand this summer but the Cardiff Blues flanker is refusing to rest on his laurels ahead of the new Guinness PRO12 season.
Jenkins played in all three Tests against world champions New Zealand in June, as the All Blacks flexed their muscles in a 3-0 series win.
However, the 23-year-old still impressed and will be in the selectors’ minds ahead of the Autumn Internationals against Australia, Argentina, Japan and South Africa in November.
“Being in that environment there are lots of players who have been there for a long time – for instance it was a nice moment to share my first cap with Alun Wyn Jones’ 100th,” he said.
“They have experience, have played in massive games and it’s just a case of learning off them, seeing how they conduct themselves in training and how professional some of them are.
“It confirms what it takes.
“Having that experience definitely adds to my motivation. It is something every player in Wales wants to do but you have to look after your performances for your region first.”
Jenkins is preparing for the new Guinness PRO12 campaign, and the Blues start their pre-season fixtures against Newport Gwent Dragons next weekend.
They face Edinburgh in the first match of the season on September 3, and Jenkins insists they must start better than a year ago – with particular emphasis on their away form.
“Those two things came hand in hand last season, we had five of our first six away from home and lost all of them – you can’t lose five games in a row and expect to do well,” he said.
“Away games is something we have spoken about, we gave a good account of ourselves with home games last year and we want to continue that but the best teams get wins on the road as well.
“It’s all well and good running through plays without opposition and doing fitness in pre-season now but the only thing that counts is results on the pitch.
“We have put some really good foundations in place on the training pitch and have had some really tough days training, making sure everyone is fitter and stronger to put us in the best place to go against Edinburgh in our first game.”
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