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Hotshot: Ospreys centre Owen Watkin

Centre of attention: Owen Watkin on the attack for the Ospreys. (Photo: Huw Evans Agency) Rugby World

Date of birth 12 October 1996. Country Wales

Jan 19, 2017 4:30 AM EST

When did you take up rugby, Owen?
When I was four, with Tondu. I stayed with them for a few years, then moved on to Bryncethin when I was 15. Bryncethin are my local team but they didn’t have a mini section.

Have you played in other positions?
I played outside-half but concentrated on centre when I started playing for Ospreys U16.

Was that your first involvement with the Ospreys?
Yes, and then I got into their academy and had my first development contract. It started to get serious from there.

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What do you particularly like about playing outside-centre?
It’s the variety of things you can do in the position. You get open space where you can try things.

When did you first play international rugby for Wales?
I played Wales U16, then Ospreys U18 and Wales U18, and then last year got moved up to Wales U20.

Who’s had a big influence on your career to date?
Andrew James, who was my coach at Tondu all the way through. Then Peter Bradley at Bryncethin and Owain Tudor, my schoolteacher.

Did you expect to get so much game time for the Ospreys last season?
I was hoping to get two or three games. I missed two U20 Six Nations games because I was playing for the Ospreys and didn’t go to the U20 World Championship as I needed to rest a knee injury.

Now that you’ve signed your first full contract, what are your aims from here?
I’m hoping to keep my position in the team and will keep trying to improve.

RW Verdict: The 6ft 3in Watkin made a dozen Guinness Pro12 appearances for the Ospreys last season, including nine starts, so the Bridgend-born talent has shown he is ready to shine in the pro game. A big future awaits.

First published in the September 2016 edition of Rugby World magazine.

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