Cap No 1114
Jake Ball was born in Ascot and qualified to play for Wales through his father Dave, who was born in Colwyn Bay and who played rugby for the British Army, London Welsh and Harlequins.
He moved to Australia with his family at the age of 16 and spent two years in the Western Australia Under 19 cricket squad with Aussie Test cricketers, Mitchell and Shaun Marsh. In his prime he was a fast bowler who was clocked at 82 mph and played in the Australian U19 championships in 2008/09.
He switched back to rugby, but was judged by the Western Force to be too small at 95kg. Since then he has grown in size to 120+kgs and become one of the biggest ball carriers in Welsh rugby. He became the sixth Welsh player to sign a National Dual Contract in January, 2015, and has become an integral part of the Scarlets side.
He joined the Scarlets in 2012 and made his debut as a replacement against Connacht on 15 September that year. He also played for Llanelli RFC in his first season. He has since gone on to make more than 100 appearances for the region. Injuries forced him to miss both the 2017 Guinness PRO12 final victory in Dublin and the 2018 defeat at the same Aviva Stadium venue.
His Wales debut came as a replacement in the 6 Nations defeat to Ireland in Dublin on 8 February, 2014, and he made his first start in a win over France on home soil 13 days later. He also played against England and Scotland in that championship. He went on the summer tour to South Africa later that year and figured in four of the five 6 Nations matches in 2015, starting against England and Scotland. That led him into the Rugby World Cup, where he played in the big win over Uruguay.
A serious shoulder injury suffered against the All Blacks in Cardiff in 2017 meant he didn’t play for Wales for a year, but he returned to play a part in three of the 2019 Grand Slam matches.