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Joe Hawkins

Joe Hawkins on Wales duty

Joe completes Hawkins family quest for Wales cap

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There will be no prouder man at Principality Stadium this weekend than Brian Hawkins when he finally sees a member of his family pull on a senior Wales jersey.

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The quest he first began when he won a Wales Youth cap in France in 1970 will reach its ultimate goal when his grandson, Joe Hawkins, wins his first senior Welsh cap at centre alongside his Ospreys teammate George North in the final game in the Autumn Nations Series against Australia.

Brian’s two sons, Danny and David, both won caps from U15 through to U21 levels for Wales to build on his own appearance for Wales Youth. Now it is David’s son, Joe, who won three caps at U18 level before gathering 16 at U20 level, who is set to break new international ground this weekend at Principality Stadium.

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“We had a bit of a family reunion at the ground last weekend, but it will be different this time. Joe has got us all tickets and we will be there supporting him as well as Wales,” said Brian.

“Words can’t describe how proud I feel already. It is a hell of an achievement and one he has worked so hard for.

“This is all down to him and how much he has been prepared to sacrifice to fulfil his dream. I always wanted my two sons to improve on what I achieved, and they did that.

“Now Joe is going one step further than all of us. I couldn’t be prouder, happier or more looking forward to a game of rugby.”

While Brian is not buying the argument that Joe has finally made the grade for the Hawkins clan thanks to good genes, when you examine the rugby lineage on both sides of his family, he was certainly destined to be good at the game.

While Brian played for Newport Youth, Wales Youth, Newport United, Newport and Newbridge, Joe’s other grandfather, Eurof  James, was a stalwart second row at Ystalyfera. The next generation saw his own father, David, and his uncle, Danny, win plenty of honours.

“We didn’t think he’d make the squad this time, but once he did the dream of him winning a cap grew stronger in the family. He sent me a text message the night before the team was announced asking me to ring him, but I was on the way back home from the gym and the signal dropped off in the car,” said Joe’s dad, David.

“The players get told the day before if they are playing and when I eventually got through to him I ended up shouting and cheering in the car. What a proud moment it was for me and his mother, as well as the rest of the family.

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