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Life in the middle of a rugby scrum
Around the Academy:

Wales hooker Mefin Davies
It's tough at the top!

Want to know what it really feels like when two packs lock horns?

It's time for the Academy to scrum down with Wales hooker Mefin Davies!

Wales hooker Mefin Davies

When I was growing up I always dreamt of playing one of the glamour positions. Outside-half or centre, maybe.

But it wasn't to be!

I started playing hooker at school when my teacher switched me there from scrum-half because the team needed to win some possession.

It's where I've played ever since.

Far from being glamorous, it really is as tough as it looks in the front row.

The backs don't know the half of it!

During a scrum, the hooker works as a unit with the two props either side.

Remember props come in all different shapes and sizes, so you need to find a way of working to everyone's strengths.

It's something that develops with time and a lot of hard work.

A good thing to remember is that to overcome any opposition, you've got to put your own house in order first.

When two front rows scrum down, it's six heads clashing. Just the thought of it is enough to give you a head-ache!

Your body is being squeezed between the opposition and your team-mates behind you, so it can get pretty uncomfortable at times.

Then you get up from the scrum feeling dizzy and you're expected to run around the pitch like a fourth back row player!

Mefin Davies in action for Wales
There's no hiding place

If you want an easy time of it, hooker's not for you.

There's no hiding place in the front row - it's all action from kick-off to the final whistle.

And that's what makes it such a great position to play!

Most times you'll finish the match sore, battered and bruised.

But you'll soon be on the mend and looking forward to your next match.

I'm one of the smallest hookers in international rugby, but I've learnt to use that to my advantage.

It doesn't matter that you're small - as long as you're fit, strong and flexible.

As hooker you've got to be prepared to put your body on the line, but it's not just donkey work.

You've also got to be prepared to shoulder a lot of responsibility.

It's one of the key positions, so expect to come under a lot of mental pressure as well as physical wear and tear.

You've got a vital role to play in scrums and line-outs so you've got to be technically correct and have good hand-eye co-ordination.

You also need plenty of pace around the pitch and be prepared to put in the tackles when you're on the back foot.

That's why it's important you work hard on mastering lots of different skills.

Be prepared to try something new every time because it'll make you a better all round player.

Mefin Davies
Full name: David William Marlais Mefin Davies
Date of Birth: 2/9/72
Place of Birth:Carmarthen
Position: Hooker
Country: Wales
Club: Gloucester
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 15st 11lbs
Education: Bro Myrddin Comprehensive School, University of Glamorgan
Hobbies: Wake boarding and water skiing

Open Quote
To overcome any opposition, you've got to put your own house in order first
Close Quote
Mefin Davies
Wales hooker

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