Cockbain is relishing his return

Brent Cockbain will end 15 months in the international wilderness on Saturday and is determined to make the most of his return to the Six Nations Championship.

The giant lock may only have been handed a place on the replacements bench for the clash against France at the Stade de France but he is determined to make his mark if called upon.

Wales go into the clash having lost their opening two Six Nations clashes against Ireland and Scotland and Cockbain, who missed much of last season with a hamstring tear, is eager for to help the side return to winning ways.

“I am a fairly positive person so I don’t worry about things I can’t control like injuries,” insisted the 32-year-old Ospreys lock.

“I always had the desire to come back, but I never really lost sleep about never playing again (for Wales). It was just one of those things that if I was good enough I would get the opportunity.

“It is such a competitive game and it is always moving on.

“When you have been out for a long time, one day you are walking down the street as a normal member of society, the next you are trying to bash the opposition. It takes a while, it is a different mindset.

“You run around and you feel ‘I should be over there’, and you find you are just a yard off the pace in certain aspects. It took a couple of months to get back into the swing of things with the Ospreys.”

Just as Cockbain was making his comeback he received a 20-day ban for stamping in a Heineken Cup game against Sale, ruining his chances of figuring in last autumn’s internationals.

France represent a tough comeback match for Cockbain and after beating Ireland 20-17 in their first match at Croke Park, the Australia-born lock knows what to expect.

“France have been strong, very strong. They have been able to turn it on when they have needed to.

“The first try (Raphael) Ibanez scored against Ireland was superb. The build-up and the width on their game in the lead-up to that try was the way we are trying to play.

“They are also very destructive and to turn over Ireland like they did in those final couple of minutes showed how dangerous a side they are. They can turn it on when they need to. They have been very impressive.

“I know Scotland probably played above their weight [against Wales]. Maybe we were a little bit off the pace after playing well against Ireland. France may look at us and think we are easily beaten and take that attitude, you don’t know. I just know we need to get our own mindset right.

“I was disappointed for the boys against Scotland, it was tough to watch because I know we can play a lot better. We were too loose, they played well and it allowed them get into us.”

365 Digital

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