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Getting to know: Wales U20s openside Lucas de la Rua

By Liam Heagney
Wales' Lucas de la Rua at his team's Cape Town hotel

It was déjà vu for Wales on Saturday at the World Rugby U20 Championship, losing for the second successive year to New Zealand in their opening round match. The margin a year ago in Paarl was a point and it was seven last Saturday in Athlone.

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Lucas de la Rua was the starting Wales No7 on both occasions and his year in between these age-grade World Cup clashes featured a Cardiff first-team debut away to Toulouse last December in the Investec Champions Cup.

RugbyPass caught up with him at the Wales team hotel in Cape Town and here is how he tackles the Getting to Know Q&A:

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THE BASICS
Born: September 13, 2004;
Joined Wales age-grade: 2022, we played England in Taunton;
Club: Cardiff;
Position: Flanker;
Height: 6ft 1;
Weight: 100kg
Boots: Asics or Nike Tiempo;
Gumshield: We all have the instrumented one;
Headgear: No.
School: Corpus Christi, Cardiff.

RATE YOURSELF (out of 100)
Pace: 80;
Passing: 80;
Tackling: 90.

THE PAST
My favourite Wales player of all time is… Probably go Sam Warburton;

Favourite try I have ever scored is… For my club St Peters. It was my last game for them U18 against Penarth. They had beaten us early in the season and all our boys came back to play them in the last game, I scored a few. Not any try in particular but that was probably the most satisfying;

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A rugby memory that makes me smile is… Playing for Wales U20s, my first game;

One piece of advice I would give to my younger self is… Not stress about things you can’t control. As long as you keep working hard, just keep going, next job mentality. You don’t have to stress about anything really;

My best subject in school was… Maths;

The first player who made me fall in love with rugby is… Bit of a weird one, probably Ma’a Nonu, I just remember watching him in the World Cup;

Growing up, my position was… I started off in centre. When I went to high school, my PE teacher saw me as a back row so I played there for school and centre for club and eventually just transitioned;

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The coach who has most impacted my game is… I couldn’t name one. Probably my first coach was Sam Bean, he got me introduced to rugby. I had Chris James, my club coach. Matthew Lloyd, my high school coach. Martin Fowler, my college coach. They have all had different impacts and each time they have helped me to transition to the next level.

THE PRESENT
My best attributes on the field are… Work rate;

One thing I’m doing to improve my education is… Not at the moment;

My favourite current Wales player is… Aaron Wainwright. Actually Jac Morgan;

My favourite YouTuber is… I don’t have one;

My hardest working teammate is… Morgan Morse;

My most skilful teammate is… They’ll be able to see this, will they? We’ll come back that that one;

My favourite music artist is… Drake.

THE FUTURE
A player who could go all the way is… Definitely a few. Probably would be Morgan Morse;

If I could play with anyone, I would like to play with… Pieter-Steph du Toit;

I will be happy with my career if I… Play for Wales and then once you achieve that you will probably be in for British and Irish Lions;

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

One person I want to meet is… Tough question, like I haven’t thought of this stuff. I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.

One trophy I would love to win is… Most people would say the World Cup. 

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