James Hook (rugby player)

James Hook (rugby player)

Infobox Rugby biography
name = James Hook


caption =
birthname = James William Hook
nickname = Hooky
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1985|6|27
placeofbirth = Port Talbot, Wales
dateofdeath =
placeofdeath =
height = convert|1.85|m|ftin|abbr=on
weight = convert|94|kg|stlb|abbr=on
ru_position = Fly-half|capital=yes, inside centre, Fullback
ru_clubyears =

2003–2007
ru_proclubs = Aberavon Quins RFC
Corus RFC
Neath RFC
ru_clubcaps = ?
?
?
ru_clubpoints = (?)
(?)
(?)
ru_clubupdate = 11:41, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
ru_currentclub =
ru_provinceyears = 2004–
ru_province = Ospreys
ru_provincecaps(points) = 38 (367)
ru_provinceupdate = 11:41, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
ru_nationalyears = 2006–
ru_nationalteam = Wales
ru_nationalcaps = 25
ru_nationalpoints = (182)
ru_ntupdate = 11:41, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
ru_sevensnationalyears = 2005–2006
ru_sevensnationalteam = Wales
ru_sevensnationalcaps(points) =
ru_sevensupdate = 11:41, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
ru_coachclubs =
ru_coachyears =
ru_coachupdate =
other =
occupation =
family =
spouse =
children =
relatives =
school = Central Junior School
Glan Afan Comprehensive School, Port Talbot
university =

James William Hook (born 27 June 1985) is a Welsh rugby union player for the Ospreys. Hook is widely regarded as one of the most talented young players in world rugby, and recently was acknowledged as the most promising young player in Wales.

Hook's strengths as a player include good distribution skills, great tactical awareness, and reliable goal kicking, but his popularity in Wales is largely also due to his exciting running style, which is a traditional facet of Welsh fly-half play. This has led to comparisons with New Zealand star Dan Carter and legendary countryman Barry John, who has himself hailed Hook as "a real star of the future". [cite news |url=http://www.sportinglife.com/rugbyunion/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=rugby/07/01/20/RUGBYU_Six_Nations_Wales_Hook.html |title=HOOK HANDED CHANCE TO SHINE |publisher=www.sportinglife.com |date=2007-01-20 |accessdate=2007-11-15 ]

Early life

James William Hook was born in the small southern industrial Welsh town of Port Talbot, the second of three children in a rugby-mad family.His brother Mike Hook was also a professional rugby player and sister Naidine a keen Netball player. His father Richard was a paramedic and his mother Sian was a college lecturer.cite news| url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/paul_kimmage/article1654984.ece|title='It seems crazy. This time last year I was playing semi-professional rugby'|publisher=Times Online|date=April 15 2007|accessdate=2008-02-05]

Hook's childhood heroes were Neil Jenkins and Robert Jones - Jenkins because of his magic boot, and Jones because he played in Hook's favourite position, which was scrum-half, the position he himself played for West Wales at the age of ten.

Hook attended Glan Afan Comprehensive School in the centre of Port Talbot.

Career

Club

Before making the step up to regional rugby with the Ospreys, Hook enjoyed great success for Neath RFC, becoming the record holder for the highest individual points tally within a season. He also played for the Aberavon Harlequins as a youngster.

Hook played his way into the Ospreys first XV in the 2006-07 season, giving outstanding performances at both fly-half and inside centre. He kicked a conversion in a Pool 3 match against the Sale Sharks during the 2006-07 Heineken Cup, clinching the Ospreys win following a try from Shane Williams.

International

After excelling at under-21 level for Wales, Hook starred for the Welsh sevens team, scoring a match-winning try to defeat South Africa in the plate final of the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Hook made his international debut against Argentina under new Welsh coach Gareth Jenkins, scoring a late try in the match.

Hook made his home debut for Wales against Australia on 4 November 2006 as a substitute for the injured Stephen Jones. He showed great composure in scoring 13 points as Wales drew the match 29-29 and was named as Wales' Man of the Match. Hook has since played against the Pacific Islands, scoring a try, Australia where he scored thirteen points and Canada where he scored 16 points.

During the 2007 Six Nations Championship, Hook played in all of Wales's games, but was hampered by being employed at inside centre, rather than in his preferred position of fly-half for the first four matches. As a result he struggled to make an impact. In the final game against England, however, he was finally switched to fly-half and produced a Man of the Match-winning performance, scoring 22 points in Wales' 27-18 win. He also completed his first "full house" in this match (scoring a drop goal, penalty, try and conversion). The victory was Wales' first over a 'Tier One' rugby nation since the 2006 Six Nations Championship victory over Scotland.

Hook's commanding performance earned him various accolades from rugby greats such as Neil Jenkins and Warren Gatland.Fact|date=February 2008

Hook put in a man-of-the-match performance as he helped Wales beat England 26-19 in the first game of the 2008 Six Nations Championship on 2 February2008.

On the 10th of February 2008, Hook was selected at fly-half for the 30-15 win over Scotland in the Six Nations. Hook scored a try and kicked two conversions and a penalty, before being replaced by Stephen Jones in the 58th minute. James Hook additionally had an absolute stormer against Leicester Tigers in order to secure the EDF energy cup.

References

External links

* [http://www.jameshookrugby.com Official James Hook Website]
* [http://ospreys.sportstatdata.com/ST_OSP_1005.aspx?pr=150528 Ospreys profile]
* [http://www.wru.co.uk/63_1755.php Profile] at the Official website of the [http://wru.co.uk "Welsh Rugby Union"]
* [http://sport.guardian.co.uk/rugbyunion/story/0,,1730212,00.html Nigel Melville's scouting report in "The Guardian", featuring James Hook]


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