Joe Hawkins

"Always an honour to be named Captain"

After being named as Captain for the Wales U20s side ahead of their upcoming U20 Six Nations Summer Series, Joe Hawkins is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“It’s always an honour to be named as captain of your country and this time I’m named from the start which is quite special.

“It’s a bit bittersweet. Obviously to lose Alex Mann, who is a big mate of mine, through injury is quite a blow for the team but it’s given me a chance as Captain and one I’m really looking forward to.

“I’ve spoken to Alex and will continue to do so throughout the tournament especially out in Italy. He’ll always be there to give me a few tips and will always be there to lean on.”

The young Osprey has been out of action since the Six Nations but is raring to go for the Summer series:

“I’m feeling really good at the minute. I picked up a knock against Italy during the Six Nations but all good and ready to get stuck in now.

“For us, the Six Nations didn’t go amazing, but it was a good experience for those who did play who can now carry that into the summer tour. That along with having the boost of a few boys returning give us a good spine to the team and leaders to take us into these games and hopefully have a successful tour.”

Joe Hawkins
“It’s always an honour to be named as captain of your country and this time I’m named from the start which is quite special."

Wales will be boosted by the likes of Exeter Chiefs’ Dafydd Jenkins and Christ Tshiunza up front, allowing players including Ospreys Benji Williams to return to his preferred position in the backrow after playing a valiant effort in the second back in March.

“It’s massive for our pack. We had quite a young pack during the Six Nations but both of them played in the Premiership last year, with Christ also getting a senior Wales cap so they’ll both bring a massive amount of experience which will then feed out into the other boys.

“Obviously playing boys out of position, you’re not going to get the best out of them, so to have two big second rows come in allows those other boys to go and play in their favourite positions.”

During the series, Wales will take on Scotland, Italy and a new side for Hawkins’ men to face, Georgia.

“It’ll be nice to challenge ourselves against different teams and players and it’s exciting to see what they’ll bring different to what we faced against Scotland and Italy earlier in the year.

“There were a lot of big learnings to come out of the Six Nations. We were in a lot of the games but towards the end we started to fall away and that was down to us not executing the opportunities we created. We did create loads in all the games we played but now with that extra bit of experience and calmness we can finish those off and win.”

Six Nations U20 Summer Series

Sat 25 June – Scotland v Wales - Stadio Di Monigo 5pm

Thu 30 June – Wales v Georgia - Stadio Di Monigo – 5pm

Wed 6 July – Wales v Italy - Stadio Di Monigo – 8pm

Tue 12 July Play-off - opposition/KO TBC