Aggressive with the ball in hand and at the breakdown, Kiwi born Joe Ward, he has proved himself a formidable opponent for all Premiership hookers.
He joined Wasps in 2005/06 direct from New Zealand, where he played NPC and Super 12 rugby as well as winning international honours at U19 and U21 level, and in his three years with the club has secured a Powergen Cup, Heineken Cup and Guinness Premiership winners medal.
Joe started his rugby career as a flanker, only moving to the front row after being selected for the NZ U19 squad. However, a few hours tutelage from NZ U19 manager Shaun Fitzpatrick (who better?) and a baptism of fire in some warm up games organised by his rugby hero and U19 coach, Mark Cowboy Shaw meant that Ward couldn't lift his head up for a few days but had the makings of a decent hooker.
Having captained NZ U21, Joe nailed his Super 12 contract, but became frustrated with his limited pitch time and chose to take a fresh challenge and move to England and Wasps.
Joe started 2006/07 with an alarmingly authentic Anchorman style moustache but hung on to his form nonetheless. His facial hair designs perhaps an inspiration which led him to drive 'Tacheback', a campaign to raise funds for research into testicular cancer last season. His ability to convince the majority of the club to join in the campaign and run out with their various moustache designs in front of the crowds emphasizes his role as a core club man.
His displays on the pitch in 2007/08 continued to demonstrate his ability. Regularly challenging Raphael Ibanez for the number 2 shirt, he made 30 appearances in 2008/09 and was one of the most frequent names on the Wasps team sheet. Scoring three tries and playing in some of Wasps key games which ensured the path to the Guinness Premiership Final and the title of Champions of England at the close of the season.
His efforts on the domestic stage have led him to a place in the 2008/09 England Saxons squad, eligible to play for England in October.
When he is not playing rugby he enjoys martial arts and relaxing away from the game.
Click the squad picture and the action pictures on the left to zoom them.
|Weight:||107kgs / 16st 12lbs|
|Height:||188cm / 6ft 2ins|
|Date of Birth:||03/06/1980|
|Place of Birth:||Dannevirke, Hawkes Bay|
|Former Clubs:||Wasps, Sale Sharks, North Harbour, Otago, Hurricanes|
|Representative Honours:||New Zealand U19, New Zealand U21, England Saxons|
|Debut Match:||Northampton Saints 12/11/2005|
|Joined Club:||November 2005|
|Joe's Club Stats:||This Season||Club Total|