New Scarlets signing, Scottish international John Barclay says he’s eager to get started with his new region after receiving the all clear from medics last week.
Barclay believes his move to the Scarlets and hooking up with the talent at Parc y Scarlets will energise him to push further forward as a player.
The 26-year-old Scottish flanker, a career Glasgow Warrior player with 150 appearances over nine years, said he was attracted to West Wales by the Scarlets brand of rugby.
Following shoulder surgery this summer, the 41-capped openside was given the final go-ahead that he was available for selection and having watched the Scarlets in pre-season games and their two opening PRO12 fixtures, is ready to make his 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 away to Murrayfield to face Edinburgh and then the chance for Barclay to get his Parc y Scarlets debut against former club Glasgow on Saturday October 5th (kick off 6.30pm).
Barclay said: “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.
“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 his reunion with Glasgow in a few weeks time he said: “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 and in West Wales, Barclay says his time with the region over the summer and meeting supporters has made him feel really comfortable it was a good move.
He said: “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. They are very committed and determined to do well and go out every week and represent the Scarlets in the best way possible.
“They know their responsibility to this club and all it’s 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 that we have a good blend of different types of players there.
“It’s up to the guys to put in performances and put their hands up and make it hard for the coaches now.”
Barclay said he is enjoying his time in West Wales and settling in well with a young family.
“It’s always a bit difficult moving to a new club, but the Scarlets have been very supportive and my wife is really enjoying her time here too.
“The supporters are so passionate about the region. Rugby really is everything in this part of the world and coming from a city where there is also a strong football base – it strikes you how much focus there is on the Scarlets and how they progress.
“The supporters are great and they are what makes this place special and it’s so important to the boys to have their backing.”