Griffiths becomes 500th Welsh cap

North Wales Crusaders’ hooker Owain Griffiths was “over the moon” as he became the 500th player to be capped for Wales

Griffiths came on as an interchange midway through the first-half in Wales’ 42-22 defeat against France in Albi in the European Championships last weekend.

After spending a number of years in the Wales students set-up, along with his father, former Crusaders head coach Clive, who was at the helm, Owain was rewarded with a call-up to the senior side for this autumn’s internationals.

And the 23-year-old was delighted to win his first cap for Wales – let alone be the 500th person to do so.

“We didn’t know who the 500th capped player was going to be; it was between either myself or Paul Emanuelli”, Griffiths explained.

“I was over the moon to win my first cap for Wales and it was a really proud moment in my career for me.”

Wales’ young and relatively inexperienced side have started their European Championships campaign with two defeats – a 42-18 deficit against Scotland in Workington before the loss in France last weekend.

But Griffiths feels that Wales have a good chance of gaining their first victory against Ireland this weekend if they can put in a full 80-minute performance.

“We’ve always hung in there up until the last minute in the games that we’ve had so far”, Griffiths said.

“We need to tidy a few things up and slow down the play-the-ball. If we do that, then we’ll be fine and we’ll give ourselves a good chance of winning the game on Sunday.

“One thing that we don’t do is give in and that’s drilled into us at training all the time. We fight until the end.

“We are only a young side so it’s good for the future that we all have that kind of mentality.”

Now that Griffiths has made his first appearance for the senior side, he is hoping to be selected once again on Sunday.

“It would be special to play for Wales in Wrexham”, he said. “I’ve obviously played a lot of rugby there with Crusaders, but it would be brilliant to do the same with Wales.

“Hopefully the fans will come out to support us – it’s what we need. We’re a young side and a big backing from our fans will put us on the front foot.

“All we want to do as a team is to make the fans that turn up to watch us proud.”

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