The highly-rated Osprey talks positions and ambitions

Wales full-back Kayleigh Powell

Date of birth 18 February 1999 Born Church Village Position Fly-half/full-back Region Ospreys Country Wales

When did you first play?

About seven or eight at Llantrisant Primary. I played at school first, then I went to play for Llantrisant rugby club, from eight to 12. At 12 I took a year out as I couldn’t find another team, then I joined Pencoed.

Did you play other sports growing up?

Everything! Football, cricket, rugby, netball. I played cricket for Glamorgan at U12 level and up until I was 15 I played football for Mid Glamorgan, but then I had to make a choice. It was too much to do everything.

What made rugby stand out?

The people made a difference. Also, growing up all I wanted to do was play for my country. That’s why I tried all sports and rugby is the one that fitted best.

What positions have you played?

I played scrum-half up until U18 level, then in my first year of senior rugby I moved to ten.

My debut for Wales against Ireland was the first time I’d ever played 15. It made sense – I didn’t have enough experience to tell players what to do and I feel more comfortable at 15 at the moment. I’ve played a bit at 12 too, which I enjoy.

What are your strengths?

I’ve got quite a good skill-set – catch, pass, kick. Defensively, I like to get off the line and make tackles. This was my first campaign so I was a little quiet. I’m working on my communication – what’s going on, where the space is.

Was it a surprise to be capped this season?

I wasn’t expecting to come in from injury to a starting jersey. We’re all pushing each other in training and competition is massive. We need that environment so we can keep growing.

What are your goals going forward?

Team GB selection has been made but I want to keep working to see if there’s any way I can get into the squad. I’d love to be in the Olympic team. I find it fairly easy to move between sevens and 15s. There’s the World Cup next year and I’d love to be there – that’s a big goal. Then the Commonwealth Games.

What do you do away from rugby?

I’m a hub officer for Ospreys in the Community and I work at Llangatwg Community School. I oversee all rugby in the school with the aim of getting as many people playing rugby – in all forms – as possible.

RW VERDICT: The Welsh coaches think highly of Powell, who started at 15 in three of their four Six Nations matches. She says: “I love to win – that’s my motivation.” She is part of the younger generation driving Wales towards the 2021 World Cup.

This article originally appeared in the May 2020 edition of Rugby World magazine.

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