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'A big draw for me': Jack Walsh swaps Exeter for a Welsh region

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

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Ospreys have signed ex-Australia U18s and Sevens out-half Jack Walsh on a two-year deal from Exeter. The 22-year-old American-born graduate of the New South Wales Waratahs academy played for Manly Marlins in Sydney before heading to the UK in 2020 where he has played eight times for the Chiefs, scoring two tries and 20 points.

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“I made contact with Toby and it was just the way he talked about the plans for the Ospreys, the team and the culture he was driving, it was just somewhere I wanted to play rugby,” explained Walsh on his new club’s website

“He talked about the vision for the whole organisation, what Swansea was like as a city and how rugby is in Wales, and it’s just an exciting challenge. I talked to Tom Francis, Elvis Taione and Alex Cuthbert about the Ospreys and they just echoed what Toby said about the team, the culture and how much they were enjoying it.

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“When you talk to experienced guys like that, who know what makes a successful club, that was a big draw for me. I am also very aware of how passionate Welsh rugby fans are and how loyal the Ospreys supporters are.

“I know the Ospreys are a proud club and the opportunity to be around players like Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and George North, and to learn from world-class players like them, is what every young player wants to do.”

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Booth added: “Jack is a young and exciting prospect and is primarily a fly-half but has shown he is a multi-position player. He comes from a rugby league background in Australia and plays at the line and is not afraid to challenge tough defences. These are attributes we will need in the future.”

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The decision by Walsh to join Ospreys will see him depart Exeter at the end of the current season along with the France-bound Sam Nixon, Jonny Hill, Tom O’Flaherty, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Sam Skinner and Don Armand. He said: “I learned a lot from my time with the Chiefs. Thank you to the supporters, coaches and fellow players for the warm welcome in Devon.”

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