Scottish international John Barclay is eager to get his Scarlets career under way after receiving the all clear from medics.
Barclay, who made 150 appearances over nine years at Glasgow before his summer switch to Parc y Scarlets, has been given the go-ahead to resume his playing career following shoulder surgery. And, having watched the Scarlets in pre-season games and their two opening RaboDirect Pro12 fixtures, the 26-year-old flanker is ready to make a big impact.
The experienced back-rower has made a timely return to the game, with the Scarlets facing two Scottish clubs back-to-back after their Welsh derby this weekend. They travel to Murrayfield to face Edinburgh and then there is the chance for Barclay to make his Parc y Scarlets debut against former club Glasgow on Saturday 5 October.
“It’s been a little frustrating to join a club and then be off with injury but the surgery had to happen and I’m glad to get the go-ahead now,” Barclay said.
“I’m just itching to get out there. In some ways it’s been positive that I’ve had time to bed in slowly and not get rushed in, but, on the other hand, I just want to get out there and play and not just be stuck in the gym and rehab.”
On a possible reunion with Glasgow in a few weeks’ time, he added: “It’s going to be interesting to play against them – a club I’ve been with for nine years and with so much history and lots of friends there.
“I’m sure it will be good fun and a few people will try to wind me up, but it appeals to me to see what it’s like playing against a team that you’ve played for and been part of for so many years.”
On his impressions of work and life at the Scarlets, Barclay said his time in the region over the summer and meeting supporters has made him feel it was a good move.
“It’s a young group of players, and some may have questioned what the Scarlets will do this season, but from what I have seen they are a very determined and ambitious group of players,” he added.
“They know their responsibility to this club and all its traditions and you can see how much it means from the turnaround after losing out to Leinster.
“It was good to see how they transferred what we had talked about from training onto the field against Treviso, who are a tough team and a very gritty side with plenty of experience and some big scalps in their history of the Pro12.
“We’ve also got good competition in the back row. I know how good these players are from playing against them and I think it’s positive we have a good blend of different types of players. It’s up to the guys to put in performances and make it hard for the coaches now.”