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From Newcastle Emlyn to the Lions… Davies reflects

Gareth Davies will travel to South Africa with the British & Irish Lions this summer

From Newcastle Emlyn to the Lions… Davies reflects

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As an aspiring international player and rugby-mad child, Gareth Davies grew up in Newcastle Emlyn dreaming of one day representing Wales and the British & Irish Lions.

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In South Africa in June 2014, Davies realised the first of those dreams when he made his senior Wales Test debut against the Springboks.

Seven years on from that international bow, Davies will return to South Africa this summer and reach his ultimate achievement of becoming a Lion.

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Last week, Scarlets and Wales scrum-half Davies was named in Lions head coach Warren Gatland’s 37-man touring party to the Rainbow Nation.

“I come from Newcastle Emlyn and started playing junior rugby there many years ago,” said Davies.

“From a young age the British & Irish Lions was the ultimate goal.

“I remember those days playing down there and now I get the chance to get to go to South Africa to represent the Lions. It’s a fantastic achievement for me and my family.”

Gareth Davies celebrates Six Nations and Triple Crown glory with Wales in 2021

I come from Newcastle Emlyn and started playing junior rugby there many years ago. From a young age the British & Irish Lions was the ultimate goal

Davies has had a fantastic career with the Scarlets and Wales and becoming a Lion is a reward for all he has achieved so far.

The 30-year-old helped Scarlets to win what was then the Guinness PRO12 in 2017.

At Test level, Davies has played at two Rugby World Cups in 2015 and 2019.

In 2015, he scored a famous try against England before Wales were beaten by South Africa in the quarter-finals.

In Japan in 2019, Davies helped Wales to a fourth-placed finish.

He has a total of 62 caps and 15 tries to his name. In 2019 and 2021 he helped Wales to Six Nations titles with a Grand Slam achieved two years ago.

Now he has become a Lion for the first time.

Ireland’s Conor Murray and Ali Price of Scotland join Davies as the three scrum-halves in Gatland’s squad.

Gareth Davies in Six Nations action for Wales

It’s a massive honour for me and my family. It’s been a nerve-racking couple of days and I’ve been trying not to think about it too much

“It’s a massive honour for me and my family. It’s been a nerve-racking couple of days and I’ve been trying not to think about it too much,” said Davies.

“I’m dead chuffed to have been named in the squad.

“A lot of the boys were asking on the morning if we’d heard anything but we hadn’t and we said we would find out at the same time as them and live.

“We’d just finished training, came off the pitch, and I sat down with one of the other boys and watched it on his phone. It was a nervous couple of minutes.”

Davies is one of four Scarlets in the Lions squad alongside Liam Williams, Ken Owens and Wyn Jones.

He was a late call-up to the 2017 Lions tour to New Zealand, but did not play.

“There are four of us from the club in the squad and it’s a proud moment to be named,” Davies said.

“We’ve created a bit of history there to get four and we’re looking forward to it now. We’re all local boys.”

Davies (right) was a late call-up to the 2017 Lions tour but did not play

There are four of us from the club in the squad and it’s a proud moment to be named. We’ve created a bit of history there to get four and we’re looking forward to it now. We’re all local boys

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