International rugby star James Hook, who played 81 times for Wales and toured with the 2009 British and Irish Lions in South Africa, has taken up the position of Attack Coach for Swansea University rugby teams.
The news comes just after he was announced as Skills and Kicking Coach at the Ospreys, where he made his name as a fly-half, though he also showed his rugby talents in other positions in the back line.
Hook scored 352 points in 81 Tests between 2006 and 2015. He was part of two Grand Slams and three Six Nations-winning sides and played in three World Cups.
He currently sits in second place on the all-time Ospreys point scorer list with 841 points. All told, he's dotted the ball over the whitewash 19 times and slotted the ball through the sticks 290 times for the region.
With the extension of the performance partnership agreement with the Ospreys, the University’s aim is to continue to develop and enhance a rugby programme that has already gained BUCS Super Rugby status and an impressive first season since teaming up with the region.
Hook will join fellow Ospreys colleague Hugh Gustafson, the existing head coach at the University as part of the partnership.
Speaking about his new role at the University, James Hook said:
“I’m really looking forward to working with the team at Swansea University. I really enjoyed working with the Ospreys U18s last season and now having the chance to link up with the University through the partnership with the Ospreys is an exciting prospect.
It’ll be a little different to my role at the Ospreys but hopefully I can pass on my knowledge as attack coach, and work to improve the depth and quality of players we have in the Ospreys pathway.”
The rugby club at the University has five men’s and two women’s teams competing in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions. The women’s first team compete in the BUCS Premier South (top league) and the men’s compete in BUCS Super Rugby (top league). The club welcomes all prospective players, regardless of sporting background, skill level or experience.
The University boasts a rich crop of sporting stars amongst its alumni, including Alun Wyn Jones and Siwan Lillicrap, who is also Head of Rugby at the University.
Speaking about Hook’s addition to the squad, Siwan Lillicrap said:
“It’s really exciting to have someone of James’ experience and his expertise join us as attack coach this year. He’s played at the highest level in his career and will be a great mentor for all our students.
It’s going to take us to the next level and shows just how well our partnership is working with the Ospreys.
“The first few weeks we’ll be following WRU’s community protocols and we’re planning to start back the first week of September. We’ll have a couple of weeks pre-season applying all the guidelines. It’ll involve a lot of skills and conditioning and be a great time for James to get involved early doors and see the skill level of the boys which he can then build and work with to improve.”