IT’S good to be back in the mix for selection as we start a tough run of games in the Guinness PRO14 and Europe but I know that I’ve got to be patient.

I’d say that the last couple of years have been the toughest of my career with two major injuries back-to-back over the Christmas period and then on top of that a global pandemic.

I made my comeback in February and was pencilled in for a start when coronavirus wiped everything off.

Timing is everything in rugby and careers have been made and finished as a result of fortunate or unfortunate timings, something I’ve seen many times over the years.

After the lockdown, copious amounts of meetings with WRPA and WRU about the safe return to play, I think all players were looking forward to getting back to business in what was going to be a very strange end to one season and start of the next.

I was ready to play in at least one derby game in August but pulled my calf and have been in rehab club since, sorting niggles out.

I’ve gone through a wide range of emotions in the last few months; it’s been a very tough time physically but even harder mentally.

Like everyone else it has been a surreal year but adapting to a situation is something I’ve had to do on many occasions during the 15 years at the Dragons, whether in terms of regime changes, having had six head coaches in that time, or positional, regularly changing across the back row and then to second row to call lineouts.

There have been times where I’ve felt a bit lost, I’ve gone from being involved a lot and having a say in certain things to being on sidelines and not being involved in on-field activities. It has been frustrating and tough at times.

Not only that but coronavirus has meant that my level four coaching course has had to be put on the back burner until the new year.

That’s because there is no semi-professional or A team rugby to be involved in, which is needed to help the transition into coaching and build on the previous eight years of being involved with Dragons age-grade teams, Newport RFC and NHSOB.

I can’t wait to see the back of 2020 but I’m aiming to have a strong end to it. I’m fit and available for selection now after completing two weeks completely injury free and now I have to take the opportunity when it comes.

South Wales Argus:

Ollie Griffiths has been outstanding for us, Aaron Wainwright is returning shortly and boys like Huw Taylor (pictured) has been grafting well in training, so as per usual there is competition in the back row.

This is where the Covid situation has led to a feeling of frustration for boys who have been training hard but haven’t played in a long time due to the lack of Celtic Cup and cancellation of some planned A games.

It’s hard to make an impression unless out on the field and having a strong squad is essential with call-ups and injuries being inevitable. Just look at tighthead where Leon Brown is away with Wales and Lloyd Fairbrother sufferd a head injury over in Benetton.

Suddenly Aaron Jarvis is starting and Chris Coleman is backing him up, so being ready to hit the ground running is what the team needs this weekend to back up a really good win at Benetton.

South Wales Argus:

Treviso is not an easy place to go – we hadn’t won there since 2015 – and the boys played in the right areas and our starter plays were spot-on.

The execution was really good and it was a deserved win. To show that composure was impressive given that it was four weeks since the loss to Munster and there were loads of positives to take to Glasgow.

It’s a tough game ahead of the Champions Cup and regional derbies but it’s a chance to really build some momentum for a very busy and testing period.