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Getting to know: Wales U20s full-back Cameron Winnett

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Liam Heagney)

Good news in Welsh rugby is hard to come by in 2023. Even their U20s were mired by negativity, finishing with the wooden spoon in this year’s age-grade Six Nations. However, their appointment of Mark Jones as interim head coach has had a galvanising effect and there have been some green shoots at the ongoing Junior World Championship.

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Cameron Winnett is one the improving Wales youngster, playing his part in the agonising one-point near-miss versus New Zealand at Paarl and then finishing strongly at Stellenbosch to secure a win over Japan ahead of next Tuesday’s pool-closing clash with France in Athlone.

If the Winnett name sounds vaguely familiar from the past to rugby fans, it is because he made his Heineken Champions Cup debut for Cardiff in December 2021, scoring after just four minutes in a tie at Harlequins that was played despite Dai Young and his front-line squad all being unavailable after getting caught up in South Africa in yet another lockdown.

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RugbyPass caught up with Winnett at the Wales team hotel in Cape Town and in a quickfire round of questions he revealed he loved watching Israel Folau when he was growing up, that he wants to sometime play with Cheslin Kolbe, and that he harbours the ambition of adding goalkicking to his repertoire:

THE BASICS
Born: January 7, 2003;
Joined Wales age-grade: Last year at 20s;
Club: Cardiff;
Position: Full-back;
Boots: Nike Tiempo;
Gumshield: I don’t wear one. I just never have really;
Headgear: No;
School: Coleg y Cymoedd.

RATE YOURSELF (out of 100)
Pace: 70;
Passing: 80, 85 maybe;
Tackling: 75.

THE PAST
My favourite Wales player of all time is… Leigh Halfpenny.

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Favourite try I have ever scored is… Against Harlequins.

A rugby memory that makes me smile is…  Making my first appearance in URC for Cardiff.

The moment I realised I could make it is… The Harlequins game, my first senior game.

One piece of advice I would give to my younger self is… Cherish every moment.

My best subject in school was… PE.

The first player who made me fall in love with rugby is… I loved Israel Folau growing up and Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams.

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Growing up, my position was… Centre and then full-back.

The coach who has most impacted my game is… Dan Fish.

THE PRESENT
My best attributes on the field are… My stepping.

One thing I’m doing to improve my education is… Not at the minute. Sorry.

My favourite current Wales player is… Mason Grady.

My favourite YouTuber is… KSI.

My hardest working teammate is… Morgan Morse.

My most skilful teammate is… Louie Hennessey.

My favourite training drill is… One v ones.

My favourite music artist is… Probably Drake.

THE FUTURE
A player who could go all the way is… Morgan Morse.

If I could play with anyone, I would like to play with… Cheslin Kolbe.

I will be happy with my career if I… Play international seniors.

I want to make a difference by… Helping my team win.

One thing I want to add to my game is… Goalkicking.

If I could get a degree in anything I would choose… Not sure, sorry.

I would be a better player if I… Got bigger.

If I could play in any other country, I would play in… France.

One person I want to meet is… Cheslin Kolbe.

One trophy I would love to win is… Heineken Champions Cup.

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