Jonny Gray: I'll never stop trying to improve my game
The Scotland second row used injury lay-off to study how to make himself a better player.
Scotland second row Jonny Gray has turned himself into a student of sport during his injury lay-off to ensure he returns as a better player.
At just 23, Gray has played 35 international tests and played 77 games for Glasgow Warriors, captaining his club and his country on occasion.
In June, the 6ft 6in lock forward underwent surgery on his wrist, ruling him out of the game for the first sustained period of his young career.
While having to watch from the sidelines was tough for him accept, Gray has used the time wisely by listening to his coaches and broadening his horizons.
Gray returned to action with Glasgow last month and is expected to start in the first autumn test against Samoa at Murrayfield on Saturday.
He said: "It's been the first major injury I've ever had but the coaches at both Scotland and Glasgow have been great.
"They told me it was an opportunity to work on things that I don't usually get to work on and I have really focused on some individual and team targets.
"I struggled at the start if I'm being honest, I didn't know what to do. At times I just wanted to be back straight away and training, which was hard."
He added: "So I started by watching a lot of footage, I watched a lot of the [British and Irish] Lions and those second rows.
"You see the unbelievable talent out there, guys from all over the world who I need to compare myself with.
"I think there's a lot you can only learn from taking a step back and watching when you can't be involved."
"I don't think ever in my career that I'll be satisfied. I will always have to push forward and I am lucky to have the teammates and the environment to keep pushing me."Jonny Gray
Gray said he looked outside rugby to broaden his horizons.
"I've also had the opportunity to study different sports like Tour de France and the NFL," he said.
"It is good to try different things. Some of it didn't work and some of it did. But I have also taken a really close look at my game.
"I think I will always have a lot of improvement to make but to properly sit down with my coaches."
He added: "We've got such quality guys [behind the scenes] both at Glasgow and Scotland who you can call up at any time.
"They'll be very honest with you, respect your opinions, and give you one-on-one time."
A Warriors regular by the time he was 18 and capped by his county before his 20th birthday, Gray has had to grow up fast playing one of the most physically demanding positions in professional sport.
His name was in the frame for the British and Irish Lions tour in the summer but ultimately Warren Gatland chose a different style of second row.
The position is evolving and Jonny Gray understands he must adapt, too, following comments from former Scotland lock Jim Hamilton.
Gray said: "I don't think ever in my career that I'll be satisfied. I will always have to push forward and I am lucky to have the teammates and the environment to keep pushing me."