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Dewi Lake

Dewi Lake in training with Wales

Lake’s captaincy a family affair

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The reaction to the news that Dewi Lake will captain Wales for the first time against England at Twickenham on Saturday provided further proof that Welsh rugby is very much a family thing.

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A week on from the emotional handing over of Leigh Halfpenny’s shirt for his 100th cap by his grandfather, Lake’s family will be pushing their holiday memories in Magaluf to the back of their minds as they travel to the home of English rugby to enjoy their son’s big day.

It may not be the same sort of trip that was made by the father of Dragons No 8 Aaron Wainwright, Adrian, in 2018, when he travelled 44-hours by plane and bus via Washington DC, Brazil, and on to San Juan in Argentina to see his son win his first cap, but the Lakes will have forgotten all about the Spanish sun and sea when they head to west London at the weekend.

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The 24-year-old Lake, who follows in the footsteps of regional clubmate Jac Morgan in captaining his country having stepped up into the role after leading Wales U20, gave Warren Gatland an immediate “I’d love to” answer when he popped the question about becoming Wales’ 143rd senior men’s team skipper. Then he tried to pass on the good news to his family

“My mother (Louvain) and sister (Iola-Belle) were in Magaluf, so I didn’t get a reply from them for a bit because they were out clubbing,” revealed Lake.

“My dad gave me a typical thumbs up emoji. They’re made up. They’ve put a lot of effort in for me as well, driving at 6am to get me to under-16 or under 18 training.

“It’s as much their achievement as it is mine. They’re the people who’ve put the time into me, along with my coaches, and from a young age, they taught me how to be who I am.

“They’ll be there for Saturday and I’m sure they’ll be excited going up on the bus on the weekend as well. It’s an honour to be able to do it and I’m privileged to have been asked to lead the boys out this weekend.”

Lake intends to take a leaf out of the book of Morgan when he takes the field to win only his ninth cap on Saturday – leading by example.

“Jac is a great boy, and we can all agree he captained the side valiantly last weekend. My captaincy style changes sometimes depending on who you’re on the field with,” explained Lake.

“There are boys that don’t need to be told anything, who’ve got the experience and know what they’re doing. Maybe some boys like a pat on the back if they’ve done something well or an arm around them if they’ve messed up.

“Some boys need to be shouted at if they’ve messed up because that’s what kicks them into the next gear. Your style is all about knowing your team, knowing who you’ve got around you, and being able to cater to how they are going to react to things.

“You can’t be one-dimensional and shout at everyone because some boys will react poorly, and you might not get the best out of them.

“It’s important to try to lead from the front, lead by example, as Jac did last weekend. Hopefully if I can do anything as well as he has, I’ll be onto a winner.”

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