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Ospreys name seven end-of-season leavers, including Alex Cuthbert

By Liam Heagney
Ospreys Alex Cuthbert (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Former British and Irish Lions winger Alex Cuthbert has been named as one of seven players who will exit Ospreys at the end of the United Rugby Championship season.

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Cuthbert joins fellow departing Wales internationals George North and Nicky Smith. But unlike North and Smith, who have secured deals to respectively join Provence and Leicester, the 34-year-old Cuthbert doesn’t have a new club lined up.

Having last lined out for Wales in the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, he has made just three appearances in his third season at the Ospreys following his 2021 switch from Exeter and is currently injured after suffering a serious hamstring injury against Munster in March.

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Ospreys’ final home match of the season is this Saturday’s derby versus Dragons and Cuthbert, North, and Smith will be farewelled along with wings Toby Fricker and Mat Protheroe, flanker Will Hickey, and scrum-half Cam Jones.

A statement read: “The Ospreys have confirmed the players that will be leaving the club at the club at the end of the 2023/24 season. The club would like to take this opportunity to thank all the players for their time at the Ospreys and wish them the best in their future endeavours.”

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Head coach Toby Booth, said: “This part of the season is always a tough time, especially when you have to say goodbye to players that have given a lot to the club over the years.

“We wanted to get this announcement out before our last home fixture so that our supporters could join us in thanking the boys for everything they’ve contributed in an Ospreys jersey.”

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Ospreys 2023/24 Leavers List:
Alex Cuthbert #263
Toby Fricker #282
Will Hickey #265
Cam Jones (scrum-half) #290
George North #232
Mat Protheroe #250
Nicky Smith #152

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Jon 20 minutes ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

> it was apparent Robertson was worried about his lack of experience at half-back, hence the decision to start veteran TJ Perenara and put Finlay Christie, the next most experienced number nine, on the bench. I don’t think it was this at all. It was a general scope he was putting over all the playerbase, he went with this cohesion factor in every position. > If the main priority is to build different tactical elements to the gameplan, then Ratima is the man in whom Robertson needs to trust and promote. This also I think is antagonist towards the reference game plans. The other plans do not need the speed of which Perenara (atleast) can’t provide, and I think personal is going to be the main point of difference between these games/opponents. That is the aspect of which I think most people will struggle to grasp, a horses for course selection policy over the typical ‘Top All Black 15’. That best 15 group of players is going to have to get broken down into categories. So it test one we saw Christie control the game to nullify the English threats out of existence and grind to a win. In test two we saw Ratima need to come on which dictated that this time they would run them off their feet with speed and the space did open up and the victory did come. Horses for courses. The same concepts are going to exist for every group, front row, lock and loose forward balance, midfield, and outside backs all can have positional changes that the players may be asked to accentualize on and develop. There might be some that _it_ will not ever click for, but they’ll hopefully still be getting to enjoy unbelievable comeback victories and late game shutouts to close it down. Knowing does not mean not enjoying.

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W
Wonton 7 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

One game against Fiji is not enough to show that a player is ready to play the likes of South Africa. Spreading the ball wide too much increases the risk of turnovers and we turned the ball over 20 times against Fiji which is a lot more than what we did in the two England tests. We actually turned the ball over the same amount of times (20) against England in the 2019 semi final which we lost. Fiji didn’t make us pay for those turnovers but other teams will. In the 2nd test against England this year we had 100% success rate on attacking rucks. That’s the first time the AB’s have achieved this since the 2019 opening game of the RWC against South Africa. South Africa won last years RWC and Jesse Kriel did not pass once. The days of the Conrad Smith type centre might be over. Also Conrad Smith debuted in 2004 but he did not become an incumbent until Nonu did also in 2008. As for Rieko Ioane he and Jordie Barrett put in some very strong midfield hits in the 2nd test forcing turnovers several times. Rieko Ioane hasn’t played wing in years. If Proctor is moved to 13 then the best I think Ioane can hope for is an impact player off the bench. He does not have the aerial game of Caleb Clarke or the workrate of Tele’a for 11 and going to be selected over Jordan at 14. However its much too early to replace Rieko with Proctor. Rieko was excellent in the knock out rounds of the RWC. All Proctor has to show on his test CV is a good game against Fiji.

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