After announcing his retirement at the end of the season early Monday morning, we take a look back at the esteemed career of James Hook.
Hook began playing rugby as a junior at Aberavon Quins, before moving onto play for Aberavon Youth and Tata Steel. His senior debut came with Aberavon Wizards against Maesteg back in February 2004. His Ospreys debut came seven months later, off the bench against Cardiff Blues in a 39-3 win, aged 19 years old.
Along with Alun Wyn Jones, Hook was one of the first two players signed on a development contract that year following the formation of the first WRU National Academy in 2005. Young Hook then went on to establish himself in the Premiership with Neath.
His standout performances caught the eye of the national side, and Hook went onto earn his first international cap before making his first start for the Ospreys even. Hook came off the bench to score a try in a 27-25 defeat against Argentina in 2006.
His first Ospreys start was on the opening weekend of the 06/07 season. He made 25 appearances that season and helped guide the region to a Celtic League title and runners-up spot in the EDF Energy Cup Final.
Hook was named in Warren Gatland's first Wales starting line-up, scoring 16 points for his country against England in 2008. Wales won the game 26-19, the first time the side had won at Twickenham in 20 years. Hook featured in all 5 games of that tournament, slotting 44 points in total as Wales went onto win the Grand Slam.
That same year, the Ospreys reached the EDF Energy Cup Final facing Leicester in the final again. A starring role by Hook saw the fly-half slot 13 points as the Ospreys claimed the silverware in a 23-6 win.
The following year, Hook was named in the 2009 British and Irish Lions side to travel to South Africa. He scored 35 points on the tour, playing in 6 tour matches.