Garyn Phillips

Q&A with Garyn Phillips


What is your first memory of rugby?

My father suggested I go training with my local club, Abercynon, when I was six years old. I was too young to play but I trained with them for a year before I was allowed to play.  My first year of actual rugby was with the Under-8s. I started out as second row, played backrow and eventually moved to centre and then played Number 8. I tried football but didn’t enjoyed that and a swam a lot in swimming galas for my school but didn’t enjoy competing.  Rugby was something my Dad did and was something I wanted to do. It was when I reached Under-16s that I really started to take rugby seriously.

Your journey in professional rugby started as an Academy player before you signed with the Ospreys?

I didn’t have the easiest ride in the Academy at the Blues and I didn’t really enjoy it. So at 17, I quit rugby and didn’t want to play again and just played for my local club and then in my first senior game for Abercynon, I broke my leg. The Ospreys got in contact and said they would be happy to take charge of my rehab and that’s how the Ospreys picked me up and they really looked after me and offered me a place in the Ospreys Academy. It meant I worked with Wales props, Paul James and Duncan Jones, who is now with the seniors, and it was great to have mentors like that to learn from. Everything I have learned so far is from them.

You are training with a personal hero of yours at the Ospreys, what is it like to be training with Dan Lydiate?

My hero growing up was Dan Lydiate, I actually wrote a piece of work on him for Year 7 at school, and I have told him that. His wife was a teacher at my school and he was my idol growing up. It’s amazing to be training with him at the Ospreys now and he is such a nice guy. I talk to Dan everyday and its amazing to see what you can do if you work hard. I saw him playing in France back in 2012 and he had a mental game, with the chop tackle, and I just loved him from that game on. He is a defensive machine.

Can you describe what it was like to make your Ospreys debut against Zebre in the Pro14 last season?

Well, it was short and sharp debut. It was a big moment for me and I was very nervous but when I sat on the bench at the start of the game, I just wanted to get on the field. It’s a shame it ended the way it did, but it was a massive honour for me to pull the jersey on. Now I’m just trying to compete for a spot behind three really experienced and quality props. Toby gave me an opportunity and to have that trust placed in you was a huge for me. He had seen me train but never actually play a game but still selected me.