Owen Lane was over-the-moon to fulfil a lifelong dream of representing Cardiff Blues, following his try-scoring Guinness PRO14 debut against Connacht last night.
The utility back scored his side’s third try of the evening on the way to a thrilling 36-30 victory over the Galway-based province, to leapfrog their opponents in Conference A.
Lane, who can play at centre or wing, is determined to keep his place in Danny Wilson's side and believes the progress of fellow academy members is an extra motivation.
“When I came off the pitch, I couldn’t help but smile because I’ve wanted to play for Cardiff Blues since I was young. I’ve played through all the age-grades so I was just happy to get the opportunity to play,” said Lane.
“Any opportunity that comes my way now, I’ll do my best to take a bite of it.
“Danny has always said, when these opportunities come you have to take it. The likes of Jarrod Evans, Dillon Lewis, Rhun Williams, who I live with at the moment, when you see boys like that taking their opportunities it gives you that motivation and something to strive towards.
“I want to play my rugby at 13, but I want to play for Cardiff Blues so I’d play anywhere in order to get into the team, it doesn’t bother me at this level. Hopefully I can push myself into the 13 spot if I can keep performing.”
Lane showed impressive handling skills to pick-up Gareth Anscombe’s offload on the way to the tryline, and the score proved decisive following a late charge by the visitors.
The Wales U20’s international was relieved to secure the victory, but his feet remained firmly on the ground when asked about his try.
Lane said: “It was a tight game by the ending I was quite nervous after I had missed a tackle and they scored, but the boys dug in and managed to grind out the win.
“The most important thing going into the game, and everything we’ve build on during the week was to just get the win. Obviously it’s a big game for us and we’ve jumped ahead of them in the table so that’s great.
“I don’t know about the pick-up being lovely though - I’d say it was quite lucky! I told Chicken [Anscombe] that he gambled with the offload and lucky I caught it and momentum took me over the line, so I was happy.
“It was definitely a step up tonight, I think the Anglo-Welsh Cup was a big step up from the Principality Premiership, and coming into the PRO14 I expected it to be a quicker game. There were a few stoppages which slowed the game down a bit but the intensity of the tackles and overall it was a step up.”