Get to know the young Welsh No 10 who has Gavin Henson as a mentor
Hotshot: Dragons and Wales U20 fly-half Arwel Robson
Date of birth 21 February 1997 Born Caerphilly Region Dragons Country Wales Position Fly-half
When did you first play rugby?
At 11. I went to a district trial for Rhymney Valley schools and got picked. Then I played for Wales U11. I was into football and had trials at Cardiff City, but once I played for Rhymney Valley I fell in love with rugby.
Have you played other positions?
A bit of 15 but I’ve always been a ten really.
Who did you admire when you were growing up?
Dan Carter, I loved the way he controlled games. And Gavin Henson. It’s mad that I’ve had a chance to play with him these last two years! To think I watched him on the telly in 2005 when he got that kick against England and 12 years on I trained with him – that was surreal.
Has he given you any good tips?
Yeah, he still helps me now. We keep in touch over WhatsApp, I just send him a text and he comes over in his free time to help with my kicking. He’s a real nice guy.
What are your strengths?
Playing what’s in front of me and being able to make something happen. I think my kicking is a strength too. Something to improve on is my defence, not being the biggest guy on the field. I like the challenge.
Which teams have you played for?
Nelson and Penallta (clubs), Dragons U16, U18 and the senior XV. And Wales U18 and U20.
Who’s had the biggest influence on you?
My parents have had a big impact. And Gareth Richards, my school PE teacher (at Lewis Boys, Pengam), he pushed me on the furthest. I remember having a selection setback with Wales U16 and he motivated me and got me back on track.
You’re not long back from injury…
Yes, I ruptured my hamstring last December. I was named to play against Northampton but got injured in training. I only returned this season so it’s been a long process.
Any immediate goals?
To stay fit and get plenty of game time. And to improve as a player, make sure I’m better than the year before. It’s a mad game we play, one week you’re starting and the next you’ve picked up a niggle, so it’s being ready for when an opportunity comes.
What do you do away from rugby?
I’m in my second year of a sports studies degree at USW (Uni of South Wales). They’re good, if you can’t make lectures they’ll meet up at times when you can. I’m also playing a bit of golf.
RW VERDICT: Dragons DoR Dean Ryan wants to create a fast and expansive style – which suits Robson to a tee. He’s having to make up for lost time due to his injury and made a successful comeback in the Celtic Cup at the start of this season.
This article originally appeared in the December 2019 edition of Rugby World magazine.
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