Ex-Osprey Owen linked to Dragons

MOVE EAST? Gareth Owen in action for the Ospreys

MOVE EAST? Gareth Owen in action for the Ospreys

First published in Dragons South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

GARETH Owen – the man once dubbed the new Gavin Henson – is being linked with a potential move to the Newport Gwent Dragons.

The talented utility back is looking for a new club after the Ospreys released him earlier this month.

The 23-year-old – who can play full back, centre and outside half – has spent the last year on the sidelines after undergoing two-stage knee surgery in a career already plagued by injury.

Owen sustained the injury last July in what the Ospreys described as a “freak accident” in training which saw him twist his knee.

He also suffered a severe ankle injury playing for his region against Glasgow in September 2008.

Owen could have won a Wales cap on the summer tour of Canada and the USA in 2009 but had to withdraw with an Achilles injury.

His place was then taken by ex-Scarlets full back Daniel Evans who has joined the Dragons for the new season.

Owen played 50 games for the Ospreys, scoring nine tries.

He was part of the Wales Under-20s ‘golden generation’ squad of 2008 which produced players who have distinguished themselves on the world stage like 2012 Grand Slam captain Sam Warburton and teammates Leigh Halfpenny and Jonathan Davies.

When he burst onto the regional scene, Owen was tipped for the very top.

In 2009, the then Ospreys director of coaching Scott Johnson compared him with ex-Wales centre hero Henson.

Former Wales caretaker and assistant coach Johnson said of Owen’s potential: “Gareth reminds me so much of Gav, physically as much as anything.

“Look at him, and he has the olive skin, he is well-built and is a great athlete.

“He is probably a bit more explosive than Gavin. He has an amazing turn of speed to go with an amazing physical presence.”

Johnson added: “In fact there is nothing the lad cannot do. He has a good kick and just has something about him that you cannot coach.

“He is such a talented lad and in a few years’ time Wales will get a very good Test player.”

Comments (4)

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7:45am Wed 27 Jun 12

SWBorderer says...

Very talented player, would be a great asset if he can stay free from injury.
Very talented player, would be a great asset if he can stay free from injury. SWBorderer
  • Score: 0

8:56am Wed 27 Jun 12

broadsworddan says...

That would be a great signing. Always thought owen was fantastic. Amazingly though, a season off the charts and everyone is saying "Gareth who". Shows how much talent we're developing in Wales. Still worried about the front five though! Last season we lost three ex all blacks and two welsh internationals from the front five. We since signed TWO, neither of whom have international caps (I know this doesn't mean much if the players are good). Still need another experienced prop and possibly a lock, or else we'll have the problem again of a quality back line being starved of decent ball. Five years ago, we were a team who were good up front and lacking behind. Now we are the other way round. I know we're trying to "grow our own" front row, but give them a chance, augment it with a bit more experience!
That would be a great signing. Always thought owen was fantastic. Amazingly though, a season off the charts and everyone is saying "Gareth who". Shows how much talent we're developing in Wales. Still worried about the front five though! Last season we lost three ex all blacks and two welsh internationals from the front five. We since signed TWO, neither of whom have international caps (I know this doesn't mean much if the players are good). Still need another experienced prop and possibly a lock, or else we'll have the problem again of a quality back line being starved of decent ball. Five years ago, we were a team who were good up front and lacking behind. Now we are the other way round. I know we're trying to "grow our own" front row, but give them a chance, augment it with a bit more experience! broadsworddan
  • Score: 0

5:21pm Wed 27 Jun 12

Keith Barnett says...

Another signing that will be on the injury list for the season!
Another signing that will be on the injury list for the season! Keith Barnett
  • Score: 0

5:28pm Wed 27 Jun 12

corpardguy says...

Agree with Broadsworddan about the front five, The best backs in th eworld cant do anything without the ball.
Our TWO new lads look very promising, but as already pointed out we are down FIVE pretty good rtegional level players from the front five. I am not too worried about the breakdown area, but I am for the lineouts/scrum set pieces.
The fixtures for the first 10 games will be critical for the season.
Agree with Broadsworddan about the front five, The best backs in th eworld cant do anything without the ball. Our TWO new lads look very promising, but as already pointed out we are down FIVE pretty good rtegional level players from the front five. I am not too worried about the breakdown area, but I am for the lineouts/scrum set pieces. The fixtures for the first 10 games will be critical for the season. corpardguy
  • Score: 0

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