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Owen Lane

Owen Lane during training with Wales ahead of the Rugby World Cup

Lane relishing chance to impress

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Owen Lane is relishing his first involvement in a senior Wales squad as Warren Gatland’s side prepare to ramp up their Rugby World Cup preparations by travelling to Switzerland.

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Cardiff Blues wing Lane is one of only two uncapped players in Gatland’s 42-man training party ahead of rugby’s biggest tournament in Japan which begins in September.

The other new boy is loosehead prop Rhys Carre, who lives with Lane in the Welsh capital.

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For Lane, who is still just 21, it is very much a case of learning right now but he admits he is loving the chance to work with senior figures of the likes of Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones.

“Wales is definitely a big step up from regional training in terms of intensity,” Lane said.

“I would like to think I am starting to adapt now, but Switzerland will be another step up so hopefully I can come back in one piece and enjoy it.

“It’s pretty special. As a youngster growing up in Wales you aspire to be in this environment. Now I am here I realise how hard it is to try and stay here.

“That is the aim of everyone here. I know it is a settled squad at the moment so it is definitely going to be a challenge for the new boys and boys who are maybe outside that squad to push in.

“That is why we are here to work hard and take an opportunity if we were given one so we will see what happens come August.”

Lane continued: “I am still trying to learn from these boys in the training environment. I still find it quite surreal to be surrounded by players of this calibre and ones I have grown up watching.

“Hopefully I can learn a bit off them on and off the field and I can emulate them. As a youngster growing up you look at players like Alun Wyn and Jonathan Davies.

“They are not just Wales legends, they are Lions legends. I find it strange I am training in the same sort of environment with them, but everybody has been welcoming.

“I have not felt like an outsider at all.”

Lane had a prolific try-scoring season for the Blues last season, but has had his fair share of injuries for a young player. He is hoping to avoid a repeat in the months to come.

After their camp in Switzerland, Wales will face World Cup warm-up games home and away to England and Ireland respectively as well as a second camp in the heat of Turkey.

He said: “Injuries are part and parcel of the game. I learned a lot from the injuries and lay-offs about the things I was doing wrong in terms of my rehab and trying to get fit for games.

“Wales and Cardiff Blues have both got great medical departments and hopefully I get fit for the whole camp and put my hand up – that’s all I can do.

“I don’t think you ever feel ready, but hopefully I have got the attributes to try and step up to this level.

Wales head off to Switzerland this week where they will stay in Fiesch in the Swiss Alps.

Lane said: “Everybody has got a few stories about how brutal it is, but I expected that from videos I have seen. Four years ago I was following it on social media and I could tell how tough it looked.

“Now I have experienced a few weeks with the squad I know how tough it is and I am expecting it to step up again in Switzerland.

“I would not say I am looking forward to it, but on the other hand I am because I want to get involved and see how I react.”

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Lane relishing chance to impress
Lane relishing chance to impress
Lane relishing chance to impress
Lane relishing chance to impress
Lane relishing chance to impress
Lane relishing chance to impress
Lane relishing chance to impress
Lane relishing chance to impress
Lane relishing chance to impress
Lane relishing chance to impress
Lane relishing chance to impress
Lane relishing chance to impress