Dan’s doing great as a powerful prop with The Otters!

The recent rugby season certainly went well for Dan Davies-Breeze as the powerful young prop helped Narberth Youth to the final of the Pembrokeshire Youth Cup after a long campaign where he also represented Pembrokeshire Youth.

 Dan Davies-BreezeProps are traditionally tough cookies and Dan, who plays on the tight head of the scrum, is rightly pleased with the fact that he was selected for every match in the number three jersey for the Young Otters and played every minute of those games throughout a long campaign.

In the final they lost a real battle by just a single point to an equally strong and determined Neyland Youth but although Dan was understandably disappointed by the final result he knows that it was another step in his rugby education and he is already eagerly looking forward to the 2017/18 campaign.

Hard work in school and as a swimming tutor

Dan has just completed his studies in the sixth form at Ysgol y Preseli and is now anticipating a period of study at Pembrokeshire College, where he aims to continue his rugby whilst pursuing a course in Public Services - but in the meanwhile he will also carry on his work as a lifeguard and swimming instructor at Crymych Leisure Centre.

He has always enjoyed swimming and really enjoys taking on the challenge of teaching youngsters to become competent swimmers.

"It is a great feeling to see children having fun and growing in confidence in the pool," admitted Dan, "and there is that magical moment when they make it across the pool under their own steam and then complete their first length!"

There is also the added bonus that he could use the excellent facilities during his time off. Such is Dan's dedication to his rugby training that even on school days he would enjoy an early morning swim and in free study lessons he could pop in and complete a tough session on his weight training programme by using the top-notch fitness facility there.

Early start at Crickmarren

Dan started out in rugby when the family lived in Pembroke and he asked his dad John to take him up to Crickmarren as a raw nipper to play tag rugby.

"I was made very welcome from the start by all at the club; I took to it straight away as we all chased the ball like headless chickens in the 'tag' version of the game”.

"When we moved from the tag game, to the tackling version of rugby where positions came into focus, the coaches recognised my natural power and commitment and promptly installed me in the front row as a prop," he told us with a chuckle!

"To be honest we weren't the strongest team in the county but I learned a lot pretty quickly during my time there before we moved to live in the Crymych area and after a while I joined them."

Moving to Crymych and playing there . . . . . . And at Ysgol y Preseli too!

"Aled Vaughan was our coach and Crymych had a very good team which really came good as we gained in experience, so that under 15 and 16 levels we were unbeatable as we won the county finals for our age group, beating strong opposition in the home club at Pembroke Dock and then Narberth in Haverfordwest."

"Lyn Williams was also our coach and he did a superb job with the whole squad and I personally could not have had a better rugby mentor at that formative age because he was very knowledgeable about the game but also was there to help us with anything. A top man!"

It was a similar story at Ysgol y Preseli, where he was coached by teachers Gethin Vobe and Marc Lloyd "I don't think we lost a game against any other school team in Pembrokeshire," Dan told us, "but I stopped playing for school in the sixth form because I had the chance of my role in the Leisure Centre and couldn't turn it down.”

Family matters

In his rugby he has been encouraged all the way by his Mum Ali, Dad John and brother Joe - such is their support of each other the family is known as Team DB! 

John also played as prop for several clubs and there is now a third member of the family's front row gang because Dan's younger brother Joe also plays for Narberth at under 12 level - of course as a prop! Dan also helps out when needed as U12 first aider and supports the team at training and matches. “They are a cracking young team who deserve to go far” he said.

Made really welcome at Narberth

Dan joined Narberth at the start of the recent season and says that it has been the best move he could have made because of the way that he has been totally supported by all the coaches there.

"They clearly love the game but are quick to point out where we go wrong whilst encouraging all we do on the pitch and in training, where they are hard task masters.
Dan and Co train at the Lewis Lloyd Ground on Thursday evenings and he also trains with the Pembrokeshire County Youth.

"Randal Evans put my name forward for County and so far I have played four times for Pembrokeshire, beating West and East Carmarthenshire, but losing to Cardiganshire and at Llangennech.

Another step up in experience

It is another step up for Dan but one which he relishes as part of his learning curve - as is the fact that he has also played twice for Narberth Seconds in senior rugby.

"They weren't as fast as youth rugby but there were some old hands in the opposing front rows and so it was physically tough - but I soon learned to adapt," he told us!

And finally . . .

Ask Dan about highlights and he would undoubtedly nominate his two junior finals and the recent Youth Cup Final at Haverfordwest, despite just missing out.

Looking to the future, Dan says that he is happy to continue to work hard with Narberth RFC and to see where rugby takes him. Hopefully he will get further up rugby's ladder if things go well as a result of his total dedication to training and willingness to learn.

There are undoubtedly more successes to follow this talented and committed young rugby player and we are confident that we are going to hear a lot more about Dan Davies-Breeze as he works hard to achieve his rugby aims!