Archie Hughes Insists Working Alongside Dwayne Peel Is Perfect For His Development

Harry Corish - Sportin Journalist

Archie Hughes Insists Working Alongside Dwayne Peel Is Perfect For His Development

I spoke to Archie Hughes at Wales’ Under 20’s press conference ahead of their fixture against Scotland.

03.02.23 -WRU Image. Wales U20s v Ireland U20s – U20s 6 Nations Championship – Archie Hughes of Wales 

In terms of development as a scrum half Archie Hughes is probably in the best hands with Dwayne Peel overseeing his development at the Scarlets, with the former Wales and British and Irish Lions international scrum half, keeping a close eye on his development as his head coach.

Hughes has been long dreaming about running out in the red jersey of Scarlets and Wales and is currently learning under the tutelage of Peel, one of the Wales’ best scrumhalf’s and current Welsh internationals Gareth Davies, Kieran Hardy.

While Hughes at the tender age of 19, has only a few memories of Dwayne Peel during his playing days, who was capped 76 times for Wales. The youngster is certainly has enjoying learning off the former British and Irish Lions test scrum half and Welsh international.

And Peel is certainly taking a hands-on role in developing the exciting youngster, who will be looking to step up into the senior squad in the near future.

“I loved the battle between Dwayne (Peel) and Mike Phillips back in the day, they were both awesome players and Peely was a great scrum half. I think I share a lot of similarities in the way he used to play, so it is great to learn from him,” Hughes added.

“He always had good service, which I admired about his game, and he has been helping me in that aspect too. When we are at the Scarlets, we have plenty of time to do individuals, so I do work with him quite a bit.

“If he sees things in my game that I need to work on, he won’t hesitate to let me know what I need to do and help me go through it with me.”

A lot of people think as a scrum half role is limited to passing and kicking the ball, but there is plenty more to the modern role of the nine, as Hughes is well aware.

“I like to get as stuck in as I possibly can, whether that is kick chase or defence, I want to give my all and prove I am ready for this level.

There is plenty of quality throughout this under 20’s squad. We are fortunate that we have some pretty talented boys in the group, a lot of us just go out there and express ourselves, which is great to see.

“I am looking to climb my way up at the Scarlets and get some more opportunities. The competition is really tough at the moment with Gareth (Davies) and Kieran (Hardy) playing international rugby and Dane (Blacker) who is in and about that squad.

“But I am looking to push on there and keep enjoying my rugby.”

From Tenby, Hughes would have grown up watching the Scarlets week in week out and started playing with his local club, Tenby RFC, aged just five.

The young scrum half was obsessed with rugby from an early age and ended up moving to Llandovery college at just 14 to continue his development in the sport.

Hughes said:

“It’s awesome, you have some top-notch scrum halves at the Scarlets, coming into the senior squad and training next to these players has been huge for my development. I am constantly trying to learn of them as much as I can.

“It’s not always just me going to them, they come to me and try and help me out as much as they can. If I am doing individual sessions, I will have all of the boys helping out with little things. It is a pleasure to watch them first hand at training and seeing how hard they train; I am certainly taking notes off them.

“Growing up I was quite fortunate to go to Llandovery College, living there made quite a difference. I lived and breathed rugby, it was my whole lifestyle, that’s all I wanted to do.

“I played a lot of rugby there it was great to be able to focus on the game and develop under some great coaches.

“From there I got picked up by the Scarlets around the time they started their partnership with the college. It was great for me personally.”