WALES tight-head prop Samson Lee has spoken of his delight at Scarlets teammate Rob Evans’ international rise.
“It’s nice to get Rob involved, especially from playing with him in the Junior World Cup, and with the Scarlets,” said the 23-year-old.
“Me and Rob have been together for a long time, and it’s just nice to be playing with him.”
The Scarlets props go back a long way, having played with and against each other since they were teenagers.
The prop pairing came to prominence after dismantling a highly rated junior All Blacks scrum, in Wales’ first victory over the All Blacks in the Junior World Championship.
“The first time me and Rob played against each other was under 16’s”, recalls the 23-year-old.
“It was at West Wales we played together for the districts and we came through the academy together.
“We are quite good mates.”
However, things haven’t always gone so well for the Felinfoel product, with the powerful scrummager snapping his achilles in last season’s championship.
Such is the importance of the 115kg tight-head prop to Wales’ cause, he was rushed back sooner than expected for the World Cup.
Despite making the World Cup, Lee was understandably below par leading to question marks over his form leading into this Six Nations.
“The achilles feels back to normal,” he said.
“I’ve been working on a lot of rehab, calf strength and stuff so, I feel much better now.
“I knew it was going to be tough getting back from such a big injury, but I kept on working on my calf strength, and the power in it feels back to normal.
“You’re obviously going to lose bulk and strength from your calf after having a snapped achilles, but that’s the big thing getting the strength and bulk back in the calf.
“I think it was about two-three inches off my calf.”
“That was one of my biggest worries, how can I get the strength back in my calf.”
The first two Six Nations encounters have dispelled any preconceived worries over Lee’s scrummaging strength, with the Welsh scrum back to its destructive best.
He said: “The first two weeks of our campaign our scrum has gone well, the one that’s started and the one that’s come off the bench.
“ So I don’t see why we can’t put up another good performance against the French.
“I thought we did pretty well for the first two games, and hopefully we can take it into this week and build on it from there really.
“Pretty much you’ve just got to concentrate on what you’ve done well all through the competition.”