Dynamic back row forward Taine Basham has vowed to keep working hard for any chance to impress at Dragons – after his eye-catching display against Ulster Rugby.
Dragons Academy product Basham grabbed a late try in the Guinness PRO14 clash at Rodney Parade and chalked up an impressive 98 metres gained on the day – the second most by any player in the league.
The 19-year-old was praised after the game by Head Coach Ceri Jones – along with fellow back row youngster Lennon Greggains.
However, the Wales Under-20s ace is keeping his feet firming on the ground and is just eager to keep training hard to earn his next opportunity.
“I’ve got boys in front of me with more experience, but as a youngster, with no disrespect, you don’t really care. You just want to get in the squad yourself,” said Basham.
“You’ve got to push for a position and hopefully when you get a chance you have got to stick your hand up and make sure you take it.
“Even with the injuries we’ve had, you’ve got to work hard as they could just as easily have gone with an older head.
“In fairness to Ceri (Jones), he trusts our youngsters and the boys coming through. I have a lot of respect for him.
“The Dragons set-up and the Academy with Chappy (James Chapron) is definitely the right pathway for me. He has told me I am improving and hopefully I can improve even more.
“If you make a mistake you know about it (with Ceri). If it’s a lack of effort you know about it, but if you are putting that work in and it is a mistake you learn from he is fine with it.
Basham, who earlier this season was also part of the Wales Sevens set-up, believes Dragons can be proud of the performance against play-off chasing Ulster.
However, he admitted individual errors had cost the team any chance of causing an upset.
“Conditions, especially early on, were tough. I felt we dealt with it well, in terms of our structure and game plan. I enjoyed being out there,” he said.
“You are always frustrated with a loss, but after last week (against Benetton) we owed ourselves, the coaching staff and obviously the fans at the last home game a performance. I feel we can be proud of our performance.
“They were a typical Irish pack. They carry, they are big, physical and they know what to do and are structured.
“They played a bit as well and at times we dealt with it, but at other times our own individual mistakes, including myself, let us down a little bit.”
You’ve got to push for a position and hopefully when you get a chance you have got to stick your hand up and make sure you take it...