BEDWAS forward James Thomas is being tipped to get himself back on the radar of the Welsh regions after being named as the Premiership player of the month for January, writes Chris Kirwan.
The 23-year-old lock/back row from Blackwood came through the ranks with Newport Gwent Dragons but made just one appearance, an Anglo-Welsh Cup clash against Sale in 2009, after being plagued by injuries.
The former Wales Under-20s prospect has spent the last two seasons at Bridge Field and his exploits came close to earning another shot with the Rodney Parade region in 2012/13.
Thomas was an unused replacement against Zebre in northern Italy and was named in an extended squad for the Dragons' clash against Leinster.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law believes his appetite for graft could lead to more chances in the future.
"James works incredibly hard in training, he leads from the front and his attitude at all times is second to none," he said.
"He was Wales Under-20s captain not so long ago before suffering a bad injury but we are really starting to see James come back to his best now and reach his full potential.
"The performances he's been putting in are up there with some of the best I've seen at Premiership level for a long, long time.
"He has a chance of playing regional rugby if he keeps up the standards he's been setting and maybe improves even further."
After being edged out 11-9 by leaders Carmarthen Quins last weekend, sixth-placed Bedwas travel west again on Sunday to take on Llanelli at Parc y Scarlets. The hosts won last season's corresponding fixture 7-6.