King set for 200th appearance

James King will record the second quickest double century in Ospreys history when he leads the team out at Principality Stadium on Judgment Day.

  • King will join Bishop, Duncan, James, AWJ and Biggar as the only players to have made 200 appearances for the Ospreys
  • It will be the second quickest double century, behind Biggar, coming in at less than 10 years
  • He will lead the team out at Principality Stadium on Saturday afternoon

The Australian born former Mold RFC youngster is in line for his 200th game in an Ospreys shirt 3466 days after his debut as a 19-year old replacement in a Magners League game against Glasgow at the Liberty.

Of the five players who have already racked up 200 games for the Ospreys, only Dan Biggar has done it quicker, taking 162 days less.

Having featured 13 times across his first two seasons within the senior environment, King firmly established himself as frontline player in 2011/12. He has averaged 23 games a season across the last eight campaigns, with 24 to his credit so far in the current one.

His seven tries to date are worth noting for one key point given the opposition and venue for his 200th appearance; he has scored three of them against Cardiff Blues, twice in Judgement Day victories, the last during a man of the match performance in the 2016 victory.

A PRO12 champion in 2012 having replaced Ian Evans in the second row with the team trailing Leinster in Dublin 23-16 and over half an hour to play in the Shane and Dan inspired thriller, King can now be bracketed in the same category as a line of Ospreys legends to have also passed the 200 game landmark, joining Biggar, Andrew Bishop, Duncan Jones, Paul James and Alun Wyn Jones.

However, the ever-modest King is quick to play down the fact, while excited about joining the elite 200 club.

“I’m obviously delighted” said King, who has also made 48 appearances for Aberavon and has 11 Wales caps.

“I wouldn’t put myself in the same category, I’m just lucky to have played as much as I have, and I’ve managed to stay fit the last 10 years really. I’m still playing and there’s a still a lot to go.”

After accepting an offer to link up with the Ospreys at the age of 19, King upped sticks and left the family home in North Wales to relocate in Swansea, a decision he has never regretted to this day, particularly as it gave him the chance to play alongside legends of the game he had only ever seen on television.

“It was a little bit daunting coming down straight from school, living on my own” he admitted.

“The Ospreys have supported me all the way through my career right from the early days. Aberavon as well, I played a lot for them and without that I probably wouldn’t have played as much as I have for the Ospreys.

“I’ve always said, every time I’ve been interviewed, I just wanted to play as much as I could really. The one thing I remember about those first games was Jerry Collins was playing, someone I used to watch on TV growing up, so to play in a game with him was just unreal. 10 years later I’m still here!

“There are loads who have made a mark on me, like Jonathan Thomas, Alun Wyn, they are the players I watched coming through. I remember going to Nando’s when I first came down here with Jonathan, Alun Wyn and Huw Bennett, thinking ‘God, what am I doing here?’.

“Next thing I’m playing with them and, I’m still playing with Alun Wyn now. I’ve enjoyed my time in Swansea, I’m still enjoying my time in Swansea, I wouldn’t be here otherwise. I just want to keep playing, keep trying to push as far as I can go.”