I’M finally back available for selection after my summer injury and now it’s just a case of waiting to get the call from the coaches.

After the frustration of a pre-season on the sidelines because of my Achilles it’s a relief to be back out on the pitch in Ystrad Mynach. You don’t appreciate training until you can’t do it.

It’s a steep learning curve and it’s one thing looking at our patterns of play on a board and jotting them down in your notebook and another thing entirely acting them out in the middle.

So much has changed since last season – I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks!

One of my favourite parts of the game is the lineout and I’ve had to learn a new system and get used to new triggers. I guess my forte is the defensive lineout, something I used to help run last season, and there is a lot of catching up to do.

It’s just good to be part of the squad again and justify my place after feeling a bit redundant while doing my rehab in the gym while the rest of the squad worked hard on the training field.

I’ve done my running, passed my tests and now I just need to get up to speed with the rugby side of things.

I’m not in the squad for Newcastle on Saturday and I haven’t got a visa to play Enisei-STM in Moscow next weekend but if I can play in the British and Irish Cup game against Jersey in Ystrad Mynach a week on Saturday then great.

It was painful to miss out on a derby against Cardiff Blues last weekend and I will do all that I can to make the squad to face the Ospreys in Swansea at the end of the month.

It’s up to me to force my way into the matchday 23 and I’d like to think that I can add something even though our back row has gone well recently.

Ollie Griffiths carries and is dynamic, James Benjamin is a great ball player and James Thomas is a real grafter.

Having been a bit of a Jack of all trades over the years, I believe I’ve got plenty in my armoury and I feel that I can add some defensive steel and bring experience.

We’ve blooded a lot of youngsters because of our injuries in the back row – and Aaron Wainwright is set for another chance in Newcastle after making his debut in Cardiff – but I’ll soon be able to slot back in.

I watched the Blues game at the Arms Park after it was impossible not to feel disappointed afterwards because we played some great rugby in the first half.

To go in 21-10 up and then concede 33 points was demoralising; the boys would have known that the Blues would come out fighting after a few harsh words from Danny Wilson.

We need to be more consistent and hopefully there will be a strong reaction in Newcastle this weekend.

They are going well at the top end of the Aviva Premiership but a few boys are being given an opportunity in our European Challenge Cup opener and will be determined to take it.