Scarlets lock Jake Ball reveals Wales rugby ambitions
Scarlets lock Jake Ball says the reason he left Australia is because he wants to play for Wales.
Ball, 22, joined the Scarlets on a three-year deal in 2012 and has produced some eye-catching performances for the Welsh side this season.
He was born in England, but grew up in Australia and qualifies to play for Wales through his father who is from Colwyn Bay.
Jake Ball Scarlets lock
“I appreciate if I want to play for Wales, I have to earn my spot.”
"I would love to play for Wales," admitted Ball.
"I wouldn't be here playing in Wales if that wasn't the case. I would definitely love to play for Wales."
Ball, who stands at 6ft 7in and weighs in at 19st 11lb, was regarded as one of the most promising rising talents in the Pindan Premier Grade competition in Western Australia.
Ball trained with Super 15 side Western Force in 2012 before moving to Wales in August of the same year.
He has emerged as a regular for the Scarlets in the second row during this campaign so far. He featured in the 33-26 win over Harlequins, the 26-26 draw with Racing Metro 93 in their opening Heineken Cup pool games, and impressed again in Saturday's Pro12 17-9 over Ulster.
But he has dismissed any notion that he expected to be called up by Wales for the autumn Test series in November.
"I was not expecting to be named in the Wales squad, so there was no disappointment for me," said Ball.
"I appreciate if I want to play for Wales I have to earn my spot.
"There are players who have played a lot of rugby for Wales that are ahead of me.
"I am just biding my time and if I play well I am sure I will get picked."
Ball faces some stiff competition for a second-row berth, with Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Luke Charteris, Bradley Davies and Andrew Coombs ahead of him in the pecking order.
While he is ready to admits he has ambitions to play international rugby, Ball believes he has to focus on playing regularly for the Scarlets before he can think of Wales.
"I still think I have a bit to go," said Ball.
"I'm sure if the time is right and I'm playing well...but I am just concentrating on the Scarlets at the moment and getting as many starts and playing as well as I can."