As far as talent, power, speed and dedication are concerned, they don't come better than Owen Joshua Lewsey. The fullback / winger has become a hero with Wasps and English fans and built a reputation as a world-class player.
He grew up in Hertfordshire, where he attended Watford Boys Grammar School and played for the Amersham & Chiltern club. He joined Wasps at eighteen and moved through the youth ranks playing in the Colts side in the Sudbury and was even U21 captain. However, his studies at Bristol University precipitated a move to Bristol.
Josh was first capped at the age of 21 on England's 'Tour from Hell' in Australia 1998 - the year he re-joined Wasps from Bristol - and also appeared in all three tests in the summer 2001 tour to North America.
He then graduated from Sandhurst in 2001 and combined his rugby and Army careers with great success. However, his talent for rugby was always going to keep him in the game.
He made his England home debut with a stunning Lloyds TSB Six Nations Championship performance at Twickenham in 2002, seizing the chance handed to him by an injury to Jason Robinson to score twice in the 40-5 win over Italy. He followed it up with the opening try in his next match against Scotland and was part of the Grand Slam winning side in Dublin in 2003. He earned his international call up after impressing for London Wasps and England A and was a key member of the England side that won the Hong Kong Sevens in 2002.
He played a key part in both tests against New Zealand and Australia on the June 2003 southern hemisphere tour and few will forget his tackle on Aussie full back Matt Rogers towards the end of their 25-14 win over Australia in Melbourne. Josh made an ideal start to the 2004 RBS 6 Nations, starting on the right wing against Italy and Scotland and scoring a try in both. He was named Man of the Match at Murrayfield.
That season also saw him secure a regular place in the 2003 World Cup squad. He had an impressive World Cup including scoring five tries in the 111-13 drubbing of Uruguay, equaling the record for the most tries in a test match held jointly by Rory Underwood against Fiji in 1989 and Daniel Lambert against France in 1907.
His 2003/04 season finished with a World Cup, Zurich Premiership and Heineken Cup winners medal and 2004/05 continued in much the same vein for the winger, who was one of the outstanding players in a white shirt on the international stage. Josh went on to earn all the plaudits on his first Lions tour to New Zealand in the summer of 2005, but on his return required a shoulder operation that delayed his start to the 2005/06 season until October.
The 2005/06 season continued in fragmented fashion. Josh was picked variously at wing, full back and centre club and country, and dogged by niggling injuries he came off in England's Six Nations match against Wales and missed the end of series.
Perhaps the difficult season was a blessing in disguise. Josh's first real summer off in seven years allowed him a good rest from rugby. Never one to sit about however, the break allowed him to go on a punishing trek up K2, getting altitude sickness for his trouble.
However, Josh returned for the start of the 2006/07 season looking fresh and showing signs of his top form and he did not disappoint with 25 appearances for Wasps taking home the Middlesex Sevens trophy in 2006 and at the close of the season adding a Heineken Cup winners medal to his silverware collection.
Josh continued to excel on the international stage playing in four of England's 2007 Six Nation games. He then received a call up to Brian Ashton's World Cup squad for his second World Cup and maintained his place throughout the competition with his continued hard word and dedication. The tournament ended in heartbreak for Josh having scored in the opening minutes of the Semi-final he left the field injured and missed out on the final.
Now back at the club, Josh has high hopes for 2007/08 and continues to lead by example with his professionalism and work rate. This season sees Josh enter his Testimonial Year with the club.
Josh lists winning in Melbourne against Australia on the 2003 summer tour as a career highlight prior to his Rugby World Cup experiences. His worst memory was losing to Fiji in the 2002 Commonwealth Games Sevens. He admires Sean Fitzpatrick for his mental toughness. In his spare time Josh likes to walk his boxer dog Olaf in the countryside and go surfing. He names Paul Hull, Kevin Maggs and Jonathan Davies as having an influence on his early game.
Click the squad picture and the action pictures on the left to zoom them.
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