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Ospreys sign Wales international scrumhalf from Scarlets

By RugbyPass
SWANSEA, WALES - OCTOBER 07: James King of the Ospreys (C) is supported by team-mates as a Scarlets player attempts to grab the ball during the Guinness PRO14 Round 6 match between Ospreys and Scarlets at The Liberty Stadium on October 07, 2017 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Ospreys Rugby have announce the signing of Welsh international scrum half Aled Davies.

Fresh from a successful autumn with the Wales squad, 25-year old Davies has become the second international to make the switch from the Scarlets to the Ospreys, joining his regional and national team-mate Scott Williams at the Liberty Stadium next season.

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Davies, renowned for his fast, accurate passing and his rugby intellect, has signed a two-year deal that runs until the summer of 2020.

Speaking after putting pen to paper, Davies said:

“It’s been an incredibly hard decision to leave my boyhood club at the Scarlets where I’ve had a fantastic nine years at the Club and leave many good friends.

“However, having sat down a few times with Steve Tandy, it was clear that moving to the Ospreys was the correct rugby move for me and will allow me to develop further as a player. I believe the Ospreys game plan will suit my style of play and I’m very excited about trying to form a good partnership with Sam Davies, hopefully playing a big part in future success at the Ospreys.

“For now though, my focus is on the rest of the season at the Scarlets and I will be working hard to try and play a role in achieving more silverware this season.”

Ospreys Head Coach, Steve Tandy, commented:

“Aled is a fantastic rugby player and a great addition to the squad for next season. We’ve spoken at length and this is a great fit for both player and region, a move that makes perfect sense all round.

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“With his ability to read a game and decision making skills, combined with real physicality and one of the best passes in the game, he is a real threat and will be a huge asset to the Ospreys, competing with Tom Habberfield and the outstanding young nines we have coming through our ranks.

“He has a really bright future ahead at regional and international level and we are delighted the he sees the Ospreys as the best place to achieve his ambitions.”

Still only 25, Davies has been a fixture in the Scarlets squad since 2011, making his debut in an LV= Cup clash with Leicester Tigers. He brings a wealth of regional experience to the Ospreys having already clocked up 113 appearances and nine tries to date.

He featured in a number of senior international squads prior to first pulling on a Wales jersey, in a 2016 summer tour game against Chiefs in Hamilton, New Zealand.

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He had to wait another year to win his first cap, off the bench against Tonga this summer, his first start following a week later against Samoa. This autumn he has added another three caps, as a replacement against Australia and Georgia before getting the nod to start in Saturday’s win over South Africa.

Andrew Millward, Ospreys Rugby Managing Director, added:

“The addition of Aled to the squad for next season will give everybody a real boost. He is the kind of character that will help us grow as a team while constantly striving to improve his own game. He is ambitious and sees our environment as one that will allow him to achieve his goals.

“We are working extremely hard behind the scenes to strengthen our squad for next season, identifying players of the calibre of Scott and Aled who are buying into the vision that Steve has for the Ospreys. With two leading internationals already secured for next season we hope to confirm further additions in the coming weeks that will be equally exciting for everyone involved with the region.”

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Jon 2 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Sopoaga is going to be more than good enough to look up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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f
finn 11 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

What a difference 9 months makes! Last autumn everyone was talking about how important versatile bench players were to SA’s WC win, now we’re back to only wanting specialists? The timing of this turn is pretty odd when you consider that some of the best players on the pitch in the SA/Ireland match were Osbourne (a centre playing out of position at 15), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (a fly-half/centre playing out of position at 15), and Frawley (a utility back). Having specialists across the backline is great, but its not always necessary. Personally I think Frawley is unlikely to displace Crowley as first choice 10, but his ability to play 12 and 15 means he’s pretty much guaranteed to hold down a spot on the bench, and should get a decent amount of minutes either at the end of games or starting when there are injuries. I think Willemse is in a similar boat. Feinberg-Mngomezulu possibly could become a regular starter at 10 for the Springboks, but he might not, given he’d have to displace Libbok and Pollard. I think its best not to put all your eggs in one basket - Osbourne played so well at the weekend that he will hopefully be trusted with the 15 shirt for the autumn at least, but if things hadn’t gone well for him he could have bided his time until an opportunity opened up at centre. Similarly Feinberg-Mngomezulu is likely to get a few opportunities at 15 in the coming months due to le Roux’s age and Willemse’s injury, but given SA don’t have a single centre aged under 30 its likely that opportunities could also open up at 12 if he keeps playing there for Stormers. None of this will discount him from being given gametime at 10 - in the last RWC cycle Rassie gave a start at 10 to Frans Steyn, and even gave de Klerk minutes there off the bench - but it will give him far more opportunities for first team rugby.

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