Owen Watkin v Ulster

Watkin targets new leadership role

It’s hard to believe Owen Watkin is still only 23. The Ospreys centre is a Grand Slam winner and was member of the Wales squad that reached the Rugby World Cup semi-finals in Japan.

Watkin is an Osprey through and through and has emerged as a key player at the Liberty Stadium.

He came through the Ospreys system, made his debut at 18 in 2015 and is now very much a mainstay of the side.

Owen Watkin
“I want to play for the Ospreys week-in, week-out and I have aspirations with Wales and I feel I have a lot more to offer rugby-wise"

When Toby Booth, the Ospreys new Head Coach, talks about building a side around young homegrown talent, Watkin is one of the players who comes to mind.

Watkin has already set himself the goal of taking on more of a leadership role with the Ospreys over the coming campaign.

“Even though I am still only 23, I have been with the Ospreys for a while and have 20-something Wales caps,” said Watkin.

“I have a bit of experience under my belt and from an Ospreys perspective, it’s a chance for me to take more of a leadership role.

“It’s about being one of those players other players can come to and learn off. I know my game is still not fully defined and I have a lot to work on but I want to be one of the players that others can come to. I want to be a leader on and off the field.

“In the moment you don’t realize how special and big those achievements are, but I don’t think you can hang your hat on them. It’s a good memory and something I am proud of, but every player wants to achieve everything they can in rugby.”

The Bridgend-born Watkin has been with the Ospreys since he was 16 and extended his stay with his home region by signing a three-year contract last season.


“I want to play for the Ospreys week-in, week-out and I have aspirations with Wales and I feel I have a lot more to offer rugby-wise,” said Watkin.

“I have had some stops starts with injuries but hopefully this is the year I don’t have any niggles and I can keep performing.  That means I will put my hand up for all those things.”

While the Covid-19 Pandemic may have dominated the headlines for most of the summer, it has seen a period of change at the Ospreys, with Toby Booth, the new Head Coach, taking charge.

Booth has drafted in Brock James as his Attack Coach and there has been a move to a temporary training base at St Helen’s due to the Llandarcy Academy of Sport being used by NHS Wales as a field hospital.

Owen Watkin
“It’s a fresh start, a fresh coaching team and everything is fresh for us now.”

Watkin has relished the change of coaches and the change of environment and embraced the new challenges and questions asked of him ahead of him of the new campaign.

“The last three months we have really worked hard in training and it’s been really intense and we have put some real mileage under our belts,” said Watkin.

“The coaches have prepared us well and we are ready for the league. We worked really hard over the summer and we couldn’t have done more than we have.”

Any regular Osprey supporter or regular rugby watcher knows all about Watkin’s talent and ability, but sometimes his outstanding work rate and commitment to do the unseen work is missed.

Owen Watkin chat

Wayne Pivac, the Wales coach, named Watkin as one of four centres in his 38-man squad for the final game of the 2020 Six Nations against Scotland and the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup.

‘I want to do the best I can for the team and my main focus is the Ospreys,” said Watkin.

“If I am fortunate enough to get picked for Wales I will be really pleased, but it’s about performing to the best of my ability for the team here.

“Last season was a disappointing season, with the World Cup, injuries and it just wasn’t consistent at all, but now we have a new coaching staff and everyone is on the same page. 

“It’s a fresh start, a fresh coaching team and everything is fresh for us now.”