Marc Breeze is pictured with Danielle Morris from the Port Talbot brance of the Principality.
Aberavon hooker Marc Breeze has revealed how three former Wales hookers have helped to mould him into the latest front row prospect to come out of the WRU Ospreys academy and the Principality Premiership.
Breeze, who has just been handed a two-year professional contract with the Ospreys region, was mentored by Garin Jenkins during his time at the Ospreys academy, and since joining the Ospreys' professional ranks, he has been working closely with Jonathan Humphries, and more recently, Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde has helped improve Breeze's technical throwing game.
Breeze's performances helped Aberavon maintain their third place position in the Principality Premiership table in December, with wins over Ebbw Vale and Swansea and a narrow loss to Neath. He was selected for the Principality award by Premiership head coaches and WRU elite performance staff and will receive a £100 cheque from the Port Talbot branch of the Principality Building Society.
He said: "I've been really lucky in the coaches that have helped me so much in my career already. While I was at the Ospreys academy, Garin Jenkins actually converted me from a flanker to a hooker at the age of 18. I then went on to play for Wales Under 19 and Under 21 and since I've been training with the Ospreys, Jonathan Humphries has obviously had a big influence on me, helping with my fitness, with my open game and has ensured I know what professional rugby is all about. Training with the Ospreys has really brought my game on. Robin McBryde has also helped technically and I'm grateful for that.
"Aberavon have been brilliant too. I'm a local boy and growing up, all I wanted to do was follow in my brother Paul's footsteps and play for Aberavon at every level. With Paul currently playing prop for the club, I now get to play with him week in, week out which is great. It's also been great for my development to get some regular rugby, while featuring for the Ospreys on a few occasions too. Hopefully, if I can keep working hard, those opportunities will arise more often."
Former Wales captain and 35-times capped hooker Jonathan Humphreys, now coach at the Ospreys, believes Breeze has a big future ahead of him. "We identified Marc as an academy player. He is a fantastic potential and is an incredibly diligent learner when asked to work on certain areas of his game. He is also a consistent performer week in, week out for Aberavon so it's no surprise that he's been recognised in this way. If he keeps progressing, he will no doubt be playing regularly for the Ospreys before long - he has a very bright future ahead of him."
Breeze made his Aberavon debut against Llanelli in May 2005 and has already played 75 times for the club and scored ten tries. His family's association with Aberavon Rugby Club goes back to the nineteenth century when Marc's great grandfather Dan Jones played for the club and became was the club's first ever international in 1897, scoring a try at scrum half against England.
Marc Breeze factfile:
DoB: 11.2.87 Birthplace: Cwmafan Club: Aberavon / Ospreys Nickname: Breezy Player most admired: Jonathan Thomas Sportsperson most admired: Lance Armstrong Biggest impact on career: My brother Paul Occupation: rugby player and student - in final year of BSc in Sport Science at Glamorgan University
WRU National Match Officials Manager Nigel Whitehouse tells WRU TV's Liz Jones what makes Nigel Owens the world's top referee after the whistler received a special award for officiating in 100 Celtic league fixtures.
WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie and Alex Bywater have a ringside seat as Tonga prepare for the international clash against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Under duress, the duo speed through this week's Principality Premiership games.
The launch of the Dove Men's International Series in this week's Princiipality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We preview South Africa with Sam Warburton, Rob Howley, George North and Adam Jones. Jonathan Davies and Ken Owens go along to Dyffryn Taf school in Whitland to launch the educational side of Scorch the Dragon. WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis was also there, while we speak to head Robert Newsome and pupils. Russia coach Kingsley Jones looks ahead to facing Japan in Colwyn Bay.
Wales hero Jonathan Davies took time out from Test match preparations to join a unique literacy lesson at his former school, Dyffryn Taf in Whitland, Carmarthenshire. British and Irish Lions and Scarlets centre Davies was joined by his international and Regional team-mate Ken Owens, back in the classroom, to help introduce the Welsh Rugby Union's new mascot Scorch to pupils.
We build up to South Africa, Wales Women's World Cup draw and John Dawes goes back to school in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Sam Warburton, Ken Owens and Rhys Patchell in the Wales squad, Wales Women Rachel Taylor and Jenny Davies, while it was a special day at Lewis Boys when Wales and Lions legend John Dawes returned to his old school.
We hear from Wales coach Warren Gatland looking forward to the Dove Men's Series on this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. New Blues defence coach Dale McIntosh talks about the wrench of leaving Pontypridd,Wales Sevens captain Adam Thomas, plus we hear from Rhymney, Pontllanfraith and Monmouth about their clubs at a NatWest Rugby Force workshop.
It is the launch of the new Wales rugby kit in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Lions Ian Evans and Alex Cuthbert about the new Under Armour kit, while Scarlets pair Rhodri Williams and Emyr Phillips talk Heineken Cup. It is the launch of the NatWest Rugby Force, we hear from NatWest regional manager Wales Mark Douglas, WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis, WRU head of rugby Josh Lewsey and Wales captain Ryan Jones. Wales Sevens pair Chris Knight and Adam Field look back on the Australian leg of the IRB World Series.
We arte down on the street in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We go to Blaenavon to hear about the latest stage of the WRU's street rugby from Wales captain Ryan Jones, former hooker Lloyd Burns, Dragons rugby development manager Greg Woods and the minister for culture and sport, John Griffiths. We also speak to Newport, Neath, Carmarthen Quins and Swansea about their hopes in the Principality Premiership.
A special tribute to Cliff Morgan, one of the all-time greats of Welsh rugby, in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We go to his funeral on the Isle of Wight and speak to Barry John, Mary Peters, Clive Rowlands and Roger Lewis about the great man. We also hear from Llandovery, Bridgend, Cardiff and Bedwas about the Principality Premiership, while Wales U20s centre JAck Dixon talks about facing Lions star Jonathan Davies.