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Ospreys sign Welsh-qualified Highlander Collins

By Sam Smith
Otago's Michael Colling (C) and team mates celebrate with the Ranfurly Shield during the round nine Mitre 10 Cup match between Waikato and Otago at FMG Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Michael Bradley/Getty Images)

Ospreys have confirmed the signing of utility back Michael Collins from Super Rugby’s Highlanders.


Although a born and bred New Zealander, Collins would be a valuable addition for the Ospreys as he is Welsh qualified through his grandparents – which means he won’t be viewed as an overseas player – and he also has experience of the west Wales scene having featured for Scarlets in the 2015/16 PRO12 and Champions Cup season. 

The soon-to-be 28-year-old utility played on 15 occasions before heading back to New Zealand to spend two Super Rugby seasons with the Blues in Auckland and then heading down to South Island and linking up with the Highlanders. 

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“I spoke to Toby a while ago and this is a different challenge for me, one I have tasted before, and he just sold me on his plans for the team.

“The Ospreys are a pretty young side, at the moment, and they are a group who are improving and that was just an exciting challenge for me.

“Having watched them from afar this season, the Ospreys are playing quite extravagant rugby and that is exciting too.

“I do have a Welsh qualification but for me, this is all about what I can do for the Ospreys and playing well for the Ospreys, and making a contribution to the team.


“It’s all about adding to the Ospreys environment and playing my role in a set-up which is on the up.

“To come to an improving team where there has been some success, in terms of Champions Cup qualification, is just exciting.

“Every player wants to play at that kind of level, because we are all competitive people, and we want to test ourselves against the best elite players who play in that tournament.

“And with the PRO14 adding the South African teams, sides I have played against before, it will just add a whole new dynamic to that competition.”


Ospreys are also reportedly close to signing Irish lock Jack Regan, who made his name at the Highlanders this year.

In 2020 when Regan was told he was being released by Ulster after three years in their academy. Fearing his career was over after just a single PRO14 appearance, he followed up a call from out of the blue to play a season for Dunedin in the local Otago leagues by arriving in New Zealand just over a week before the country went into lockdown.


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