Tighthead prop Daniel Suter has put pen to paper on a development contract with the Ospreys and admits he’s living the dream to be training alongside his childhood heroes.
The 18-year-old missed out on a place in the Ospreys Under-16 squad but redoubled his efforts which were recognised when he received the club’s Jewson Most Improved Elite Youth Development Award last season.
More significantly it prompted the Ospreys hierarchy to draft him into their development squad where he will train alongside the likes of Welsh internationals Duncan Jones and Mefyn Davies.
And having made the step up from Neath Port Talbot College XV and Tonmawr, Suter is determined to soak up all the information he can from the senior pros.
“The intensity of the training is completely new to me but I’m learning every day," he said.
“It’s been a great experience for me so far and I’m really excited about having the opportunity to work with the players and coaches here at Llandarcy.
“I want to develop my skills as a player, work as hard as I can and, hopefully, I can play for the seniors one day.
“It's great to be able to work players that I've looked up to for years, to be training with them and learning from them.
“Hopefully I can take this opportunity and have a long career with the Ospreys.”
Suter’s strength of character has made an impression on forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys who says that sort of attitude can take him far in the game.
He said: “Daniel is yet another front rower to come through at the Ospreys, who we believe has the potential to establish himself with us in the longer term.
“He has a great attitude, which has seen him overcome the disappointment of missing out on our U16 squad, coming back stronger to really impress and earn his place with the U18's, gaining well deserved recognition last season.
“We have a proud history of developing front row players here, it's no coincidence that in recent seasons we've provided the tight head prop to Wales at senior, U20 and U18 level.
“We're delighted that Daniel has signed a development contract, and hopefully, with the right guidance and continued hard work he will be able to establish himself here and move onto the next level.”