James Davies has spoken about his frustration at a campaign that has been beset by injury.
Ahead of Saturday’s final home match of the season against Zebre, the dynamic openside is hoping to overcome a hamstring issue - the latest setback that has limited his game-time in 2018-19.
Man of the match in both of Wales’ Tests against Argentina last summer, Davies suffered a knee injury in the third game of the season against Benetton, ruling him out of contention for the Scarlets’ early Champions Cup ties and Wales’ autumn campaign.
He then picked up a foot issue against Cardiff Blues over the festive period, an injury which cost him a place in Warren Gatland’s Six Nations squad.
“It’s been one of those years for myself. I haven’t been able to get a good run of games, it’s been frustrating,” he said.
“I just want to play, that is what I enjoy. I enjoy training in the week, but the fun part is being out there on a Saturday with the boys. At the moment, it seems like I can’t put three games together.”
Davies made only his eighth appearance of the season in last Saturday’s 20-12 loss to Edinburgh at Parc y Scarlets, a damaging defeat has left the side with an uphill battle to make the Guinness PRO14 play-offs.
“That was probably more frustrating than the injury,” admitted Davies.
“We are all disappointed. I don’t think we have been close to putting out our first XV this season, but there are no excuses really, we have worked hard to build depth and we have got good depth in the squad. I just don’t think we have performed to our capability, to be honest.
“All we can do now is put everything into the last two games and try and get as many points as we can and finish well.”
Saturday’s match will be the final home game for head coach Wayne Pivac before he takes charge of Wales after the Rugby World Cup.
“You look at what he has done for this club since he has come in, it has been tremendous,” said Davies.
“This season has not been the way we wanted to close this chapter, but we want to give him a big send-off in the final games.
“He has brought the team together. We have a lot of different characters and personalities in this team; he works with everyone on a personal level and he knows how boys tick and how to manage them, which is a skill in itself.
“He gave me my chance. If it wasn’t for him I might not have had a chance. I think my personality suits the way he likes to coach and manage players. It has been a good fit for me.
“Obviously, it is disappointing to see the coaches leave, we have done good things since they have been here. You are taking away a good team, but we are also bringing in a good one. It is going to be fun. A lot of the boys will feel it is going to be a fresh start, a clean slate, and you will have to earn your spot again.
“If that doesn’t excite you as a rugby player I don’t know what will.”