The emerging new rugby stars who've all got famous dads

Iwan Stephens has moved to Wales as he looks to follow in his father's footsteps
-Credit: (Image: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

As more and more of the greats of the modern game decide to hang up their boots, a new generation of rugby stars has emerged with bright prospects looking to make themselves known on the world stage at every available opportunity.

Some seemingly come out of nowhere, others have long been tipped to become world beaters by those heavily involved in the game. But some seem more familiar to fans than others, with their surnames often revealing them to be the latest talent in a famous rugby dynasty.

Many of the most exciting young talents in world rugby right now are simply following in the footsteps of their famous fathers, some of whom have won World Cups and set incredible records during their own playing careers.

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But while the bar has been set extremely high for many of these young players, some are set to eclipse what their dads achieved on the rugby pitch having been backed as future superstars of the game.

Prepare to feel old - these are just some of the next generation of rugby stars looking to emulate their famous dads.

Teddy Williams

The 23-year-old Cardiff lock earned his first Wales call-up last year and while he was ultimately left out of Warren Gatland's World Cup squad, he impressed with his cameos from the bench during this Six Nations. Although currently sidelined with injury, the athletic 6ft 6in star is one of a number of strong second row options now at Gatland's disposal and will be an important player for Cardiff and Wales in years to come.

He is following in the footsteps of his father Owain, who also represented Wales and Cardiff during his playing career. Tragically, however, the back rower, who also turned out for Glamorgan Wanderers and Bridgend, passed away in 2021 at the age of 56, following a long battle with cancer. That tragedy came just three years after his brother - Teddy's uncle - and former Wales and Lions star Gareth Williams also died after being diagnosed with incurable condition Multiple System Atrophy.

Speaking about his late father in an interview with Cardiff, Williams said: "I wouldn’t say it drives me. I just know how much my dad used to love watching any of us play. He used to be at all the games, and he would have loved to have seen some of the games we’ve had down here recently. I probably didn’t realise how highly held Dad is at Cardiff. You probably take it a little bit for granted that he was a rugby player but he was also just Dad.”

Wales international Teddy Williams has followed in his late father's footsteps
Wales international Teddy Williams has followed in his late father's footsteps -Credit:Teddy Williams

Reuben Logan

Big things are expected of the 18-year-old back row who is a member of the Northampton Saints academy and made his first appearance for England U20s last month in an uncapped clash against Coventry RFC.

The son of former Scotland wing, Kenny and BBC presenter Gabby, he had previously been part of the Scottish pathway but switched allegiances to England to represent them at U20s level. It is through Gabby's side of the family that he is also Welsh-qualified, with his grandfather, former Wales football manager Terry Yorath, hailing from Cardiff.

Despite now playing for England, Logan showed his true colours during Euro 2024 when he was caught on camera with his father, who won 70 caps for Scotland, cheering on the Scots against Hungary as part of the Tartan Army in Germany.

Reuben Logan of Northampton Saints
Reuben Logan of Northampton Saints -Credit:Getty Images

Louis Lynagh

The flying wing played at U20s level for England, where he grew up, and was even called into a training squad when Eddie Jones was in charge.

However, the 23-year-old now represents Italy on the international stage, scoring a try on his debut against Scotland in this year's Six Nations as he helped inspire the Azzurri to their most successful campaign ever, while he has also left Harlequins to join Benetton ahead of the new season.

That is despite his father Michael being one of the all-time greats of Australian rugby, who won the World Cup with the Wallabies back in 1991. The former fly-half, who had 72 caps for Australian, also played for Benetton during his playing days, with Louis - who is eligible for England, Australia and Italy, being born there during his time with the club.

Cai Evans

The Dragons fly-half won his first cap for Wales last summer, with his excellent composure under the ball and superb kicking out of hand catching the eye of Warren Gatland who named him in his 54-man World Cup training squad. While he didn't make the final cut, he was named in the Welsh Six Nations squad, making a short cameo off the bench against England.

Evans' father, Ieuan, has set the bar high, however, going down as one of the best wingers in Welsh rugby history. He scored 33 tries for Wales, making him the country's fourth highest try scorer, and toured with the British and Irish Lions three times, travelling to Australia in 1989, New Zealand in 1993 and South Africa in 1997.

In retirement, the former Llanelli star worked in ambassadorial and media roles and received an MBE for services to rugby in 1996. He was named as the new chair of the Welsh Rugby Union at the end of 2022, enduring a tumultous few months in the post before clubs voted to replace him with an independent chair at a historic EGM, a move which he "loudly applauded them" for.

Dafydd Jenkins

Jenkins became the youngest Wales captain since Sir Gareth Edwards when he was appointed skipper by Warren Gatland ahead of this year's Six Nations. Despite a torrid campaign for his side, the 21-year-old lock performed admirably in the role, showing great maturity and leading from the front with his physical performances.

Already the captain of Premiership side Exeter Chiefs, the towering lock has been tipped by Warren Gatland to become one of the all-time greats of Welsh rugby and is set to eclipse the achievements of his father on the rugby field. His dad Hywel, a former back rower, was a powerful ball-carrier who played for Wales in an uncapped match against the USA ahead of the 1999 World Cup as well as representing Wales A.

Wales captain Dafydd Jenkins shakes hands with Italy captain Michele Lamaro -Credit:Michael Steele/Getty Images
Wales captain Dafydd Jenkins shakes hands with Italy captain Michele Lamaro -Credit:Michael Steele/Getty Images

Taine Plumtree

Another who is set to be part of the Welsh set-up for years to come is Plumtree, who came out of nowhere to be called up by Warren Gatland last year and will now represent Wales on their tour of Australia this summer.

The 23-year-old New Zealander represented the All Blacks at U20s level but, having been announced as a Scarlets signing ahead of the 2023/24 season, was called into the Wales World Cup training squad despite not playing a single minute for the region.

That move was made possible by the fact he was born in Swansea, with his father John coaching there at the time of his birth. Plumtree senior is currently in his second stint as head coach of the Sharks, while he has also taken charge of the Hurricanes and worked as an assistant coach in the New Zealand, Japan and Ireland set-ups.

Tyler Offiah

His surname alone should strike fear into the hearts of his opponents but 17-year-old Offiah is a fearsome player in himself, already standing at 6ft 3in and displaying flashes of his father's trademark electric pace. The teenager made his debut for England U18s earlier this year and has since signed for Bath on a senior academy contract, as he is tipped to enjoy a big future in the game.

Of course, he is the son of rugby league legend Martin 'Chariots' Offiah, a man who scored over 500 career tries before switching codes and turning out for Bedford Blues and Wasps towards the end of his career.

Max Llewellyn

The 25-year-old centre made his Wales debut against England last summer and narrowly missed out on going to the World Cup. After a slow start to his Gloucester career - which began after he left Cardiff at the end of 2022 - he has impressed with his recent performances for the Cherry & Whites and, having now bulked up, will be looking to add to his two Welsh caps later this year.

However, he has a long way to go if he is going to catch his dad, former Wales captain Gareth Llewellyn, who won 92 caps for his country during a career that also saw him represent Neath, Harlequins and the Ospreys.

Iwan Stephens

The Welsh-qualified wing has joined Cardiff Rugby ahead of next season, following three years with Newcastle Falcons. The 22-year-old, who came through the system at rugby league side Leeds Rhinos before switching codes in 2022, scored 11 tries in 25 appearances up north while he also represented England at U20s level.

He is the son of former Wales fly-half Colin Stephens, who famously took over the number 10 jersey from Jonathan Davies at Llanelli, helping them to beat Australia in 1992 before leaving Welsh rugby at the age of 25 to join Leeds.

Dan John

The lightning quick back is part of the Welsh contingent at Exeter Chiefs and has represented Wales at age grade level. The 22-year-old comes from a big rugby family, however, with his dad Paul representing Wales on 10 occasions at scrum-half.

Meanwhile, his grandfather Dennis is a former coach of the national team, taking charge of the squad who toured South Africa in 1998.