Wayne Pivac announced his Six Nations roster earlier this week and featured a number of uncapped players and one particular player who should interest supporters is hooker Dewi Lake.
It was a very interesting career for Lake, who started rugby as a young player at Valley Ravens before joining Nantyffyllon as a flanker before moving to Bridgend Ravens and moving to hooker before playing for Neath and Swansea in the Welsh Premiership.
Who is Dewi Lake?
He made his Ospreys debut in 2018 against Zebre in the Pro 14.
Lake spent two years with Wales U20s and he oversaw a win over New Zealand in the Junior World Cup in 2019. That All Blacks featured players such as Quinn Tupaea, Tupou Vaa’i and Glasgow Warriors fullback Cole Forbes.
Since his debut, he has scored twice for his region in 18 games.
It is not the first time Lake has been called up to a Welsh team, as Pivac called up Lake for the 2020 Six Nations, although he failed to earn his first cap.
Since Toby Booth’s arrival at the Ospreys, the head coach has placed enormous confidence in Lake at the start of the 2020/21 season, giving him a run of games before getting injured.
So, what is he doing on the pitch to justify an international call-up and is there a possibility of a first international cap?
the good stuff
Despite stepping off the back row at a young age, the instinct of a back rower is present in Lake, with plenty of dynamic wearing in an Ospreys shirt and a turnaround when he gets the ball in hand.
The work in the breakdown is still there with Lake having a very strong jackal threat and very quick to get to the ruck, a prime example of this was where he won a crucial turnover against Leinster to seal the win for the Ospreys.
He also has scrum power. He performed well in the scrum area against Racing 92 in the Champions Cup.
His work in the scrum field should also be noted as he performed well with Gareth Thomas and Tomos Francis on the front row, he has also shown many leadership qualities when he captained the U20s.
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A big problem:
One issue that creeps into many hookers’ game is the ability to throw to the line and to the jumper and with his late change from back row to hooker, it was a challenge for Lake early in his career.
Many people blame the player for throwing the ball into the lineout, but sometimes it’s not their fault as it can be a late lift, a miscommunication between the pitcher and jumper in determining play. The opposition could have done their analysis on the lineout and they could have taken the stalk to get the turnover.
So, with time spent at camp in Welsh, it’s the perfect opportunity for Lake to work on his pitching with former international hooker Huw Bennett who is involved with Wayne Pivac’s coaching staff.
Even if he were released back from the Ospreys, Toby Booth has hired Simon Hardy to help the region with their current battle for the lineout.
Will he get his first cap?
There’s a good chance the Dewi Lake will get its first cap during these Six Nations, although Pivac aims to give Lake squad experience going forward as he continues to develop.
However, if the opportunity presents itself at the end of the tournament, Lake is sure to grab it with both hands.
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