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Ospreys sign Samoan loosehead

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Ospreys and Bristol Bears swap frontrowers in short-term loan deal

The Ospreys and Bristol Bears have swapped frontrowers in short-term loan deal.

Jordan Lay

The Ospreys have added Samoan international loose head Jordan Lay to the squad ahead of Friday’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Ulster at the Morganstone Brewery Field.

The 26-year old has signed on a one-month emergency loan following an injury crisis that means the Ospreys are without all their front line loose heads.

Following Paul James’ retirement in December, Rhodri Jones (shoulder) and Gareth Thomas (ankle) have both been ruled out of action while Nicky Smith, who hasn’t played for the Ospreys since early December because of an ankle injury, is now with the Wales squad for their Six Nations campaign.

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The situation led to Rowan Jenkins being drafted into the squad on permit from Aberavon, featuring off the bench in the last three Ospreys games, and prior to Lay’s arrival earlier this week he was the only senior loose head in the camp.

Lay has played 11 times for Samoa, making his debut against Tonga in July 2017, and has previous experience of the PRO14 with Edinburgh prior to his move to Ashton Gate.

Rugby General Manager, Dan Griffiths, described the situation as “exceptional”, saying:

“To lose four senior loose heads, as well as having two young players in the academy either with Wales U20 or returning from injury are exceptional circumstances.

“We’ve worked with the WRU to try and identify a suitable replacement but have had to look further afield to find a player of the quality needed to do an important job for the team over the next three matches.”

Head Coach, Allen Clarke, welcomed Jordan to the Ospreys, saying:

“It’s excellent news that we have been able to identify and recruit a player of his quality and experience to come in as short term injury cover at such an important time.

“Injuries and international calls have really put us under the pump in a key position. Rowan Jenkins has been excellent since coming in last month, in terms of his attitude around the environment and his performances on the pitch, but we need additional cover and Jordan will provide that over the coming weeks.”

Sam Parry

Sam Parry has linked up with Bristol Bears in the Gallagher Premiership after agreeing a one-month loan deal to provide injury cover.

The 27-year old hooker is on his way back from an injury hit period, missing the end of last season with a chest problem and then undergoing surgery to repair a damaged bicep sustained during pre-season.

Having returned to action in October he has been restricted to just five appearances so far this campaign, the last of which coming in the Challenge Cup last month, against Pau.

Given the depth that the Ospreys have at hooker, with Scott Baldwin, Scott Otten and Ifan Phillips all available for selection, it was felt that it was in the player’s interests to head to Ashton Gate as a short term injury replacement with Shaun Malton and Will Capon currently sidelined, to allow him to get game time under his belt before returning to Llandarcy to play a part in the end of season push at the Ospreys.

Speaking about his loan move, Parry said:

“It’s been a frustrating time for me personally with injury and then not getting the game time I would like so this is the right option for me, and for the Ospreys and Bristol.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of the next few weeks, going into a new environment and testing myself in a competition I’ve not experienced before. It’ll give me the opportunity to get the minutes under my belt that I need.”

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Ospreys and Bristol Bears swap frontrowers in short-term loan deal