I want to be the best – Turnbull

Date published: January 27 2016

While Cardiff Blues blind-side flank Josh Turnbull was recently named in coach Warren Gatland's Six Nations squad, his 19 month exclusion comes as no surprise to him.

"I'm not surprised it's been so long, because others have been playing well and if you want to play international rugby you have to be playing at the top end of your game," Turnbull told the South Wales Evening Post.

The competition for the match-day squad comes as no surprise to the 27-year old who made his test debut as a second half substitution in the 2011 victory over Scotland played at Murrayfield.

Factoring in the depth of the squad in the back-row department, Turnbull's call up is a testament to his skill.

The former Scarlets player has said he understands that the competition for the final squad is tough and relishes at the prospect of getting the nod.

"Maybe my dip in form didn't help, but on the other hand maybe getting used to the surroundings of the Blues and being comfortable there has helped," he continued.

"But you always have to be playing at the top of your game if you want to play international rugby because the competition is so much keener.

"It's been a while for me, but I was delighted to get the call to join the squad."

Weighing in at 17st 6lb and standing 6ft 4in tall, the Haverfordwest-born forward can easily slot in at any of the back five positions. This allows him more options at making his dream a reality.

"My preferred position is blind-side, but hopefully being versatile enough to cover every position in the back five will give me an opportunity to get into the match-day squad," added Turnbull.

"I always want to play, and if it means playing in another position, I'll grasp it with two hands. I'm not unfamiliar with playing in the second row. I'll put my head in there. I have done it a few times for the Blues and played across the back row for them, too.

"At blind-side, Dan Lydiate is renowned for his chop tackling and being destructive in the contact area, and he does those things really well. Then you have people like James King and Ross Moriarty, who are both playing well for their respective teams."

Turnbull is eager to compete with the very best in his position in Wales. He knows that it will not be easy, but remains optimistic about becoming the best.

"So competition is fierce in that position – as fierce as it is across the whole back row and second row," he continued.

"It's a big challenge, with Lions dotted around everywhere. But it's a privilege to be in this squad with those kinds of people and players and to be able to rub shoulders with them. Hopefully, I'll be able to push them as hard as I can."