ABERYSTWYTH’S Josh Hathaway has fulfilled a dream by winning his first senior international rugby cap for Wales.

The Gloucester Rugby player made his first start for Wales in the 25-16 defeat against the Wallabies at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.

The 20-year-old former Ysgol Penglais pupil said on Sunday: “It still feels surreal, feels like the game hasn’t even happened yet still and that I was just dreaming.

“Was a dream come true for me and to have the family there supporting and a few friends too was amazing.

“The support I’ve had from everyone in Aberystwyth has been massive too and I appreciate it all and now hopefully I can push on for more.”

Wales’ losing streak continued as the Allianz as their search for a first Test win since they saw off 2023 World Cup pool opponents Georgia nine months ago, but there were some promising signs for Warren Gatland’s men who pushed new-look Australia close.

Wales hammered  Australia 40-6 at the World Cup, yet Eddie Jones’ head coach successor Joe Schmidt enjoyed a winning start to his reign following tries from prop Taniela Tupou, wing Filipo Daugunu and full-back Tom Wright.

Wales hit back with a penalty try and three penalties from fly-half Ben Thomas as they threatened at times to register their first win in Australia since 1969 and if a contentious second-half try wasn't disallowed they may well have come out on top.

Josh Hathaway with his first senior international cap
Josh Hathaway with his first senior international cap (Supplied)

With confidence low following an eight-game run of defeats they will hope for a change of luck when they head into the second test in Melbourne on Saturday.

Josh’s parents Darren and Claire, who are out in Australia with their daughter Taylor to support Josh and the team, said: “As a family we feel Immensely proud but still feels a bit surreal.

“Such a special moment to watch him play against the Wallabies and gain his first senior cap.

“The team and coaches have all been very welcoming and supportive to him and it’s clear to see he has learned so much since being in camp the last five weeks.

“He’s grateful to have the experience of players like Liam Williams around him.

“Andy Kellaway, the Australian winger gifted his jersey to Joshua as a momento of his first senior test.”

She added: “He has remained very grounded and to achieve his childhood aim of playing senior rugby for Wales is a dream come true.

Gatland said before the game: “We know he’s got excellent attacking skills and he’s training really well.

“To get him in a red jersey is something we wanted to do. It’s a great opportunity for him with his family coming to the game.

“For his first cap it’s a pretty special place to be.”