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Lack of festive cheer spoils Burns’ breakthrough 2011

Guinness PRO12 Editor

4 Jan 2012

For a man with a breakthrough year like Lloyd Burns had it would have taken a lot to end the 12 months on a downer.

However despite a meteoric rise which saw a bit-part Newport Gwent Dragon became a Wales World Cup veteran, Burns admitted the year ended up being tarnished.

Back-to-back festive period RaboDirect PRO12 defeats against Welsh rivals – 28-9 to Cardiff Blues and 10-6 against Scarlets – meant the Gwent region started 2012 with just two league wins to their name.

Closer to home, by his own admission Burns’ has failed to recreate the form which saw him become the first Cross Keys (the 27-year-old was dual-registered at the time) player to win an international cap for over 50 years against the Barbarians in June.

And with the Dragons’ domestic form, plus a chance to make his RBS 6 Nations bow in February, top of the agenda Burns admits it’s time to start creating some new memories.

“Everything that went on in 2011 is still quite fresh obviously and I hadn’t had a massive amount of time to think about it so it was nice to do that over Christmas,” said Burns.

“Although the two defeats for the Dragons wasn’t a very nice way to end the year, especially as I feel I have been pretty poor at line-out time recently.

“It was a great year but I need to concentrate on getting back on my game and getting back to top form now.

“The Six Nations is a big goal for me and something I’d love to be involved in but there are a lot of hookers playing well in the regions at the minute.

“So if I am going to be picked I need to be playing well for my region and then hopefully I’ll get the chance.” 

Burns began the 2010-11 season with his Dragons spot far from secured but sprung to prominence in the second half of the campaign.

Those RaboDirect PRO12 displays earned him his Welsh colours against the Baa-Baas in June before seeing him selected to be part of Warren Gatland’s side and their impressive World Cup campaign.

And while on the field he admits 2012 has got little chance of superseding his seven-cap – including four from the New Zealand trip – odyssey, off it Burns is supremely confident of outdoing himself.

“My baby boy is due in April so that will so hopefully that will top everything,” he added.

A burgeoning family and an equally up-and-coming international career. Quite a year, well nine months.