Hawkins relishing the opportunity ahead

Pontardawe RFC youngster, Joe Hawkins will make his Ospreys debut on Monday evening when the region travels to Parma to face Italy for round four of the Guinness PRO14.

“I’m really excited to get an opportunity and start for the team on Monday night. We’ve worked hard in a relatively short pre-season but I’m really looking forward to pulling on that Ospreys jersey for my debut.”

Hawkins hails from Ystalyfera and is a former student at Cwmtawe Comprehensive School. Playing the majority of his youth rugby at Pontardawe RFC and a few seasons at Neath Athletic, Hawkins graduated through the Ospreys Academy pathway after playing for Swansea Valley in the Dewar Shield before developing his way through the Ospreys age-grade system. Hawkins linked up with Aberavon RFC and was set to make is debut for the side before Coronavirus put a halt to their season. 

His solid performances in the age-grade sides, caught the eyes of the International setup where he went onto tour South Africa with Wales U18s and feature for Wales U19s. Back in February this year, Hawkins became one of the youngest players to feature for the Wales U20s side during their Six Nations campaign.

Now aged 18, Hawkins will line-up in the centre alongside someone he can certainly draw experience from in his first start.

Joe Hawkins
"I’m really looking forward to pulling on that Ospreys jersey for my debut.”

“I don’t think there could be anyone better I could ask for to line up alongside on my debut. Scott Williams, Welsh international, over 50 caps to his name so plenty of experience to learn from. It’s been great to learn from Scott during training so I’m looking forward to doing that out there on the field.”

Ospreys Head coach, Toby Booth, has spoken about his intention of giving homegrown talent a chance, with Hawkins joining Josh Thomas as the latest to be given the opportunity to represent the region. 

“Obviously it’s been very different to how things normally are, but we still come in, work hard and adapt to get training done and be together as a squad safely so we’re quite lucky in that respect.

“I like to ball carry quite hard when I get a chance, one of my main strengths is my distribution of the ball at the line so hopefully If I can get my hands on the ball I can try and make things happen for the team.

Looking ahead to rest of the season, Hawkins has his ambitions set for the future:

“I’m hoping to establish myself with the seniors, keep training well and developing as much as I can as a player and improving my game week in week out.  Whenever an opportunity does come, I want to grab it with both hands and do my best for the team.”