Dragon Sam Davies Is Moving Towards Wales No.10 Shirt, Predicts James Hook

Dragon Sam Davies Is Moving Towards Wales No.10 Shirt, Predicts James Hook

The Dragons start their Guinness Pro 14 campaign in Dublin tonight at the home of champions, Leinster. Pulling the strings for the region will be Sam Davies, who has at least one former Wales star backing him for a significant breakthrough this season, as he tells Graham Thomas.

Sam Davies can win back the Wales No.10 shirt this season when he finally steps out of Dan Biggar’s shadow.

That’s the verdict of James Hook, the former Wales outside-half turned coach, who was a teammate of both the current Wales rivals during his years with the Ospreys.

While Biggar has been taking some bruising punishment recently for Northampton, Davies will get an early opportunity to prove himself to national coach Wayne Pivac on Friday evening when the new Guinness Pro14 season gets underway.

The 26-year-old playmaker is set to line-up for the Dragons in their daunting opening night fixture away to champions Leinster – a match that is live on S4C.

Davies left the Ospreys in 2019 and gave flashes last season of the form that won him eight Wales caps during his time at the Liberty Stadium.

Embed from Getty Images

But with the Dragons’ recruitment having been stepped up this summer – and both Davies and his Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan having had 12 months to settle in – Hook is expecting big things of both men.

“Dan Biggar is the man in pole position, but it’s up to the other Wales contenders to knock him off and Sam Davies is well capable of doing that,” says Hook.

“Gareth Anscombe is unfortunately still out injured, so the way is clear for Sam, Rhys Patchell, and Jarrod Evans to put the pressure on.

“I think Sam has moved higher up the radar and he will get closer if he can now put in some good performances for the Dragons.

“I’d say that Sam is 100 per cent back in with a chance of playing at No.10 for Wales this season because things are all in place for him now. He just needs a run of games and he’ll get that now at the Dragons.”


Hook – who retired at the end of last season and was taken on by the Ospreys this summer as their new kicking and skills coach – believes the presence of new teammates alongside Davies has given the fly-half a firmer platform from which to launch his skills.

“I really think he has the backing of Dean Ryan up in Newport now. Sam runs the ship there now and is the main man.

“When he was at the Ospreys, Dan Biggar would play a few games, then go off to play international rugby.

“Sam would then play some great games, but as soon as Dan came back from international rugby then Sam would be back on the bench.

“As the team’s key decision-maker and key operator, you can’t really develop any consistency when that is happening to you.

“Sam is going to get that regular game time now, plus the added benefit this season of some really experienced players around him, like Jamie Roberts, Richard Hibbard, Ross Moriarty, and Nick Tompkins as well.

Embed from Getty Images

“These boys will make his feel secure and allow him to play his best rugby.”

Hook, who won 81 caps for Wales in a variety of positions including outside-half, admits being very interested to see how the Dragons are going to go on Friday, and in the early weeks of the campaign, following their capture of big names like Roberts and Tompkins.

He also likens Ryan to his fellow Englishman Toby Booth, who took over at the Ospreys as head coach this summer.

“I am interested to see how the Dragons go this season,” adds Hook.

“Speaking to players like Richard Hibbard, they love the way that Dean Ryan is coaching them at the moment and what he’s brought to that region.

“It’s the same with Toby Booth at the Ospreys. The players respect them because they’ve done so much in the game and they want to play for them.”

S4C – 8.00pm – Clwb Rygbi

Leinster v Dragons

Live broadcast of the first round from the PRO 14’s new season. K/O 20.15.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.