Ones To Watch – Iestyn Hopkins

We keep a watchful eye on Wales’s up and coming sports stars!

Iestyn Hopkins – Rugby Player

  • Position: Full back/Wing
  • Age: 20
  • Current club: Swansea RFC

Tell us a bit about your early days as a rugby player up to today.

I started playing at my local village club Cwmllynfell but then moved to Ystradgynlais RFC and played a long period of rugby for maybe eight years there, moving around in most positions.

From there I went into a bit of rugby league because I didn’t get picked up the first time for the Ospreys U16’s. I played number 10 for Ystrad, then an opportunity came up for Boys Club of Wales, so I started playing full back there.

After that I got picked up at the later stage of U16’s for the Ospreys and had a few games at Full Back for them. I have been playing in the back three ever since.

I picked up quite a big injury that needed a knee operation when I was in the U18’s squad and then COVID hit, so I haven’t played as much rugby as I would’ve liked in the last few years. I’m starting to come back into it now though so it’s good to be enjoying my rugby again.


Any big wins under the belt?

Probably the biggest one for me was for Swansea RFC against Newport at home. We were down and needed to score two tries in the last five minutes and we scored two lovely tries. Everyone went mental and celebrated. It was a great feeling.


What are you most proud of to date in your career?

I’d say my most proud moment was receiving my first Wales U20’s cap which was quite a big one, playing against England for my first game. That was very special; my family and friends came to watch that one.


Where do you hope to be playing in five years?

I’d love to be playing in the starting XV for the Ospreys. That’s a big goal for me.


What are your main strengths?

I’d say my key strengths are my footwork, the ability to beat to defenders and handling.


Who is your biggest inspiration in your sport?

I would say my dad. He taught me almost everything I know about rugby when I was younger and helped me develop my game. He’s always there to help me if I have any questions. We have a great relationship.


What are the next steps/moves in your career?

I’m focused on pushing myself into contention with the Ospreys and hopefully getting a big opportunity here. I love playing rugby in Wales, so I want to continue doing that.


10.03.22 – Wales U20s v France U20s – U20s 6 Nations Championship – Iestyn Hopkins of Wales is tackled by Baptiste Jauneau of France.

(Image: © Huw Evans Picture Agency)