A former team-mate as soon as described him as phenomenal, whereas one other referred to as him a freak athlete, however Ollie Griffiths nonetheless has only one Wales cap in his locker and the years are ticking by.

Accidents have checked him at any time when he appears poised to make a breakthrough.

However 27-year-old has the outstanding means to interact prime type instantly after coming back from time on the sidelines and he did so for the Dragons in opposition to the Ospreys in Swansea final Sunday, with a whale of a efficiency that noticed him make 19 tackles with no single miss, go the ball 15 occasions and contribute 9 carries for 34 metres. Griffiths was additionally robust over the ball.

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It was an eye-popping effort from a participant who’d been out since late March with a groin downside ensuing from a collision in opposition to the Bulls in Pretoria which Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan described as a truck smash.

Actually, a participant who’d been inactive for seven weeks shouldn’t have the ability to carry out like Griffiths did on his return.

However the former Newport RFC captain breezed it, and Ryan believes the versatile ahead who can play throughout the again row is somebody whose identify will determine in Wales discussions for the summer season tour of South Africa, with the squad introduced subsequent Tuesday.

Requested if he was happy with Griffiths’ effort in opposition to the Ospreys, the group boss mentioned: “I’m all the time happy with Ollie Griffiths — his means to return again and carry out instantly. He’s had lots of apply at it, sadly.

“I actually suppose he’s someone who’d be forcing his identify into discussions for the summer season.

“In any dialogue I’ve ever had, all people’s an amazing advocate of Ollie’s.

“What we now have to do is maintain him on the sphere week-in, week-out extra usually.

“I believe he’s performed that this 12 months.

“He’s returned in a short time and he’s returned straight in type.”

Forward of the Dragons internet hosting Cardiff in Friday’s United Rugby Championship derby at Rodney Parade, Ryan added: “If he places in a efficiency like he did final week in one other derby, then I see it as laborious for him to not be mentioned on the prime degree.”

It was Richard Hibbard who as soon as classed Griffiths as phenomenal, whereas Ed Jackson described him as a freak athlete. Ex-Dragons coach Lyn Jones can also be a fan, beforehand happening document to WalesOnline to sing the Newbridge-born participant’s praises. “Ollie was as hard-working and match as any participant I’ve had the privilege to educate,” mentioned Jones, who guided the Dragons between 2013 and 2016.

“His requirements have been equal to anybody in Wales on the time. He did issues within the contact space that have been particular for his dimension, he might bump tackles and recover from the ball to both gradual possession or just take it from opponents.

“When he got here into the aspect on the age of 19, he raised our commonplace of play. Wales are blessed with important competitors at seven however Ollie will add to it and higher it when given his probability.”



Ollie Griffiths throughout coaching.

Griffiths’ downside on the Wales entrance is the abundance of back-row choices out there to Wayne Pivac, regardless of a number of accidents. Morgan Morris and James Botham have additionally been taking part in properly, providing Pivac choices at No. 8 and on the flanks, whereas Jac Morgan has been excellent and Tommy Reffell not far behind. Pivac is an admirer of Josh Macleod , with Josh Navidi and Taulupe Faletau positive to journey. You can learn extra about Griffiths right here.

Taine Basham can also be nonetheless within the hunt to make the journey, having proven his high quality throughout the autumn collection and in opposition to Eire within the Six Nations, however the Dragons decide to depart him on the bench for the sport with Cardiff, with Ben Fry beginning. They’re led by the ultra-consistent Harri Keddie, a largely unsung participant exterior the area however one who has been performing persistently properly.

Ryan is near being head of the Harri Keddie Appreciation Society, and feels, as with Griffiths, the hard-working blindside or No. 8 needs to be in rivalry for the South Africa tour.

“If you wish to take a look at numbers round work, he’s the best performer in our squad week-in, week-out,” mentioned Ryan.

“He’s clearly resilient, he’s hit constant type and is absolutely bodily.

“There are many back-rowers in Wales, however Harrison Keddie’s identify would positively be a part of their (the nationwide selectors) discussions.”

The derby in Newport could possibly be revealing, with Cardiff boasting a back-row made up of Botham, Navidi and Ratti, all in Wales rivalry themselves.

Pivac shall be watching the audition intently.




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