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George Skivington applauds Josh Hathaway following hat-trick against Saracens

Josh Hathaway in action-Credit: IMAGO

Gloucester Director of Rugby George Skivington has praised the work of young starlet Josh Hathaway, but highlighted he still has areas to improve. 

The Welsh back has seen his stock rise quickly in the past few weeks. He notched his first Premiership try against Bristol Bears, and he followed that up with a hat-trick against Saracens.

Speaking to the media today, Skivington was full of praise for the 20-year-old: “Josh has been brilliant. I think he’s a real talent. You put the ball in his hands and he can do some dangerous stuff as you saw on the weekend, he scored a couple of really good quality tries.”

He added: “He’s definitely putting his hand up for the semi-final it will you know we’ll see where we are coming to start next week as to whether he makes it or not.

Whilst he spoke highly of the Scarlets academy graduate, he also highlighted he can still improve his game: “We’re a bit more realistic in the building I think than the headlines read the last week, but the good thing with Josh is he knows how much he’s got to work on his game. You pay wingers to score tries first and foremost, but you’ve got to be an all-round winger to be successful in the Premiership if you want to kick on after that.

He added: “There’s lots for Josh to work on which he’s very grounded about.”

Hathaway has made 15 appearances for Gloucester this season in all competitions, and has scored six tries. He has also represented both Wales and England at U20 level.

Comparison’s with Louis Rees-Zammit? Skivington on development of Josh Hathaway

Josh Hathaway in action-Credit: IMAGO

Josh Hathaway in action-Credit: IMAGO

A sprightly Welsh winger who came to Gloucester via the Hartpury system. Ring any bells?

Comparisons will, of course, be made between Hathaway and the now NFL player Louis Rees-Zammit, and Skivington feels the pair are on a similar path.

“I remember that period with Zam, and Zam started ripping into it and he really focused on the nitty gritty of being a winger. For a period when he really honed in on that, he was probably the best winger in the world. I think that’s a journey a lot of young wingers go on because you’re always scoring tries and getting the ball in hand. There’s a lot of work off the ball now to be a top flight winger.

He added: “You’ve got to be fit and you’ve got to be tough and that’s just a learning process but as you say that was probably when Zam got a hold of all that, that was probably when he really made a name for himself and he was really in the games.”

Hathaway is getting plenty of experience on the wing, however he has also played fullback at U20 level; and Skivington said he is more of a flexible back three player.

“He played more full-back than he has wing. I think Dan Tobin has done some great work here with his sprinting and his speed. I think he seems to have stepped up a gear in his sprint work and how fast he can be. There’s been an opportunity for that opening at wing and felt it was a good spot for him to slip in, but he is a comfortable full-back as well.

He added: “I’d like to ideally expose Josh in both and have that flexibility.”