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Griffiths not giving up his dream after joining Newport

Griffiths not giving up his dream after joining Newport

Will Griffiths in action for Wales Under-20 against Italy earlier this year

Will Griffiths is the former Wales Under-20 hooker now working on car body repairs but refusing to give up his rugby dream after joining Newport.

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Former Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman believed Griffiths to be the equal of Wales’ Elliot Dee when he was in charge at Rodney Parade, but the two are now at different stages in their respective careers.

Dee is a regional regular, has 29 Test caps, and has been to a World Cup while Griffiths has now left professional rugby and hopes to play for Newport in the Welsh Premiership this season.

“There was an offer to stay and train with the seniors to see if I could get a Dragons contract for six months, but I decided not to take that risk,” Griffiths said.

“It was at the start of lockdown and I thought I should take a job, be safe, and play for Newport. In two years’ time if I play well for Newport hopefully I can get back into the system.

“It was tough, really tough, and there were days when I was wondering what I should do, but I’m not giving up – not at all. It’s still on the table for me, but it’s also not the end of the world if I don’t get it.

“As a front row forward it takes longer to develop so I’ve still got time.”

Griffiths played for Wales at all junior levels, but admits he lost his hunger.

Now he hopes to regain both his passion and his form with Newport whenever the Welsh Premiership is allowed to return amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“The best rugby experience I’ve ever had was going to Kingston Park to play England. I came on at half time and played against guys who are now playing for England like Ben Earl,” he said.

“It’s the same with Taine Basham. He came through with me and he’s shown how far you can get.

“Once you’re out of a professional environment it makes you want it more and you get your hunger back. When you’re in it – and I can say this – I wasn’t hungry. I didn’t fight for it and now I’m out, I’ve asked myself why didn’t I?

“It was most probably because I was too comfortable. Now I realise what a privilege it was to be in there and what I could be doing. But I’m in no rush, I’m young, and I’ve still got time.

“Hopefully I can get back playing rugby for Newport and see what happens.”

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