AN ASPIRING young rugby player from St David's was stunned to see that New Zealand rugby legend Beauden Barrett had shared a video of him practising his kicking skills during lockdown.

Fourteen year-old William Phillips had posted a video montage of his rugby kicking skills from the past year at Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi’s rugby pitch to his personal Instagram page on 14 February.

Later that evening he was overwhelmed to discover that the All Blacks fly-half - a two-times World Rugby Player of the Year and a Rugby World Cup winner - had shared the video on his account.

“Nice Work @_williamphillipss”, wrote the international rugby star, who holds the World Record for consecutive wins since his first Test - 19 wins from 19 matches - and is now playing in Japan.

Within 12 hours, the video had reached a staggering 45k views - and that figure was expected to go far higher during the week, with Barrett’s own Instagram account having some 609k followers.

“I couldn’t believe it, to see that my idol and twice best player in the World had just mentioned me on his story was mind blowing,” said William, who plays for Narberth RFC’s junior section.

“I have looked up-to Beaudy for many years, and not in my wildest dreams could I think he would share the video of me practicing kicking, I also can’t believe the amount of views it stacked up.

“I’m very thankful for Beauden for sharing, it shows that hard work pays off,” added William, himself a ball boy for the Ospreys, with a dream that one day he too could become an international star.