Josh is just the man at No 8 for Wales

Josh is just the man at No 8 for Wales
The 2012/13 rugby season has been another successful one for talented young No 8 Josh McLeod as he played against France and England in internationals at under 16 level, played for the winning Scarlets’ team for his age group against Cardiff Blues South in the Welsh inter-regional final, and is looking forward to playing for the Scarlets if things go to plan next season.
It is fitting reward for a great deal of hard work by Josh, who attends Ysgol Bro Gwaun and is hoping eventually to take A Levels in Maths, Physics and History. He has enjoyed representing his school until he had to stop because of his commitments ‘up the line’ with coaches like Emyr Hughes, Simon Roach and Meinir Walsh helping, and with Kevin and Paul Phillips at Crymych alongside Ken Davies, Jeff Clout, Andy Grey and Jonathan Llewellin for Pembrokeshire over a number of years.

Early start

Josh first started playing as a nipper in primary school at Newport (Pembs) and after a while he started playing tag rugby with Crymych before staying there to play contact rugby in a team which didn’t lose a single game for four years.
He captained the West Wales team and after a spell with the county in the centre found his best position at No 8, playing up a year and more than holding his own against older players. He was delighted to receive his county cap last season as reward for almost six years involvement.

Scarlets and Wales’ success

Josh is just the man at No 8 for Wales
He was selected for the Scarlets under 16's this season just gone, and has played in every game, except when he was ill with glandular fever and missed five matches.. But he surprised everyone by the speed with which he returned to full fitness and went onto play in the regional final against Cardiff Blues South at St Helens (Swansea) where they made a notable turnaround to go from 15 points down to win 24-15.
Josh was selected to play for Wales Under16s soon afterwards and went to the Wellington Cup, held in Berkshire, where he played for the main Welsh team in a warm-up game, against the USA Under 17's, which they won 49-12.
Then it was on to a tough tussle against France in a game which they won 25-6, and England where they narrowly lost. The latter two games were ‘capped’ and Josh was awarded his cap alongside his team mate and good pal Rhys Fawcett (Pembroke) by the Wales coach Robbie McBride.

Proudest moments – for chances

Ask Josh about his proudest moment and he would say straight away,
“Without doubt the game against England, which we lost 26-32 against a very big, physical pack and pacy backs. Walking out in my red jersey and singing the national anthem before we started was amazing – and playing in such intensity is bound to improve my play.”
Proudly in attendance were his close family in dad Donny, a Scot from the Western Isles who played football, mum Emma, who is English and was a keen horsewoman, and younger sister Emma, who plays hockey and takes part in athletics. Donny admits that he couldn’t sing the words of ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ but hummed it very loudly indeed!

Other sports

Outside of his rugby, Josh has also showed his prowess in a range of other sports but now has to focus on the oval ball game. He still plays some golf off a handicap of 14 at Newport Links Golf Club and was only the second player to achieve a hole in one there after the course had been increased to 18 holes. He has also played football and cricket, swam and competed in athletics, and is a little wild on a horse, but not any more because of the risk of injury.

Future hopes

So what of the future for such a talented young rugby player? He wants to continue his studies but his ambition is to become a professional rugby player.
“I know it is going to be a tough road but I will give it my best shot,” said Josh.
We at wish this level-headed, powerful young No 8 every success and will watch his future progress with real interest because if things go right for him he has a real chance of making the grade!