Find out more about Joe Goodchild, the wing who only took up the game in his mid-teens
Dragons and Wales U20 wing Joe Goodchild
Date of birth 12 April 1998 Born Newport Region Dragons Country Wales Position Back three
When did you first play?
When I was 15 or 16. My mates were playing so I went along to Garndiffaith. Before that I did gymnastics and a bit of football.
How did you link up with the Dragons?
I played one or two games for Ponty Schools, then we had a tournament to get drafted to the Dragons U16s. I was picked up from that and went from U16s to U18s and from there to Wales U18. I’ve been in the academy since then.
What positions have you played?
I’ve always been a winger. I’m tall and fast so they chucked me out there. I’ve also played full-back a bit. The way I want to play seems to fit with wing or full-back.
How do you want to play?
Running rugby. What feels right at that moment, beating defenders and having a go.
What was it like making your Pro14 debut at the Millennium Stadium against Scarlets?
Unbelievable. It was a completely different experience to anything else I’ve experienced. As we came out there were fireworks and fire, then how many people were there. As soon as you see that you want more.
Who’s been the biggest influence on your career?
Probably my parents. My dad played for Pontypool and Newport. Whenever I’ve been down, they’ve been there to pick me back up.
What are your goals for next season?
I want to kick on to the first team. There’s an U23 league coming in, so I’ll try to put in performances in that and pre-season games. Hopefully I can put a marker down and progress from there.
What do you do away from rugby?
I just chill out with my mates and try to switch off. It’s nice to have mates who I don’t always talk about rugby with. If I can, I’ll watch them play at local clubs.
So you keep in touch with the grass roots?
Big time. That’s how we got here at the end of the day. If it wasn’t for those clubs, I wouldn’t be here.
RW VERDICT: Goodchild scored a key try in Wales’ win over Australia in the opening round of the Junior World Championship. His pace could be a significant weapon for the Dragons as they aim to climb the Pro14 table next season.
This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Rugby World magazine. Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.