James Hook or "Hooky" as he is nicknamed (born 27 June 1985) is a Welsh rugby union footballer, who plays for the Ospreys. Hook is widely regarded as one of the most talented young players in world rugby, and recently was acknowledged as the most promising young player in Wales.
His strengths involve footwork and running ability with his popularity in Wales being largely down to his exciting running style, which is a traditional facet of Welsh fly-half play. This has led to comparisons between Hook and the great Barry John.
Before making the step up to regional rugby with the Ospreys, he enjoyed great success for Neath RFC, becoming the record holder for the highest individual points tally within a season. He also played for the Aberavon Harlequins as a youngster.
Hook has played his way into the Ospreys first XV in the 2006-07 season, giving outstanding performances at both 10 and 12. He kicked a conversion in a Pool 3 match against the Sale Sharks during the 2006-07 Heineken Cup, clinching the Ospreys win following a Shane Williams try.
After excelling himself at Under-21 level for Wales, Hook starred for the Welsh sevens team, scoring a match winning try to defeat South Africa in the plate final of the Commonwealth Games. Hook made his international debut against Argentina under new Welsh coach, Gareth Jenkins, scoring a late try in the match.
Hook made his home debut for Wales against Australia on November 4th 2006, coming on for the injured Stephen Jones. He had a wonderful game, scoring 13 points and being the Welsh man of the match. Hook has since played against the Pacific Islands, scoring 1 try, Australia where he scored thirteen points and Canada where he scored 16 points. Hook's kicking has been highly praised by some in the British media.
During the 2007 Six Nations Championship, Hook played in all of Wales' games, but was hampered by being employed at inside centre, rather than in his preferred position of fly-half for the first four matches. As a result he struggled to make an impact. In the final game against England, however, he made a huge impact, scoring 22 of Wales' 27 points, also he accomplished a full house in this match (Drop Goal, Penalty, Try and Conversion) which let to him winning the Man of the Match award and guiding the team to their only win of the tournament and their first over a Tier One rugby nation since the Six Nations of 2006 when they beat Scotland.