Marty Holah has made a huge impact since arriving at the Liberty Stadium 13 months ago.
Former All-Black flanker Marty Holah has agreed to extend his stay in south Wales, signing a new one year contract which will see him remain at the Liberty Stadium until the end of the 2009/10 season.
The 32-year-old Holah arrived at the region in November 2007 on a deal which ran until the end of this season, with an option to extend for a further 12 months, making his debut against London Irish in an EDF Energy Cup fixture at the Liberty Stadium just four days after touching down in Ospreylia.
Renowned for his high work rate and his ability to steal the ball in the tackle, the vastly experienced Holah has made a huge impact in an Ospreys shirt over the last 13 months, making 29 appearances to date and scoring one try against Connacht. Possibly his finest 80 minutes came in the outstanding victory over Leicester Tigers in the EDF Energy Cup Final at Twickenham in April, where he picked up the Man of the Match award as the Ospreys destroyed the Guinness Premiership giants.
He has proved just as influential off the field, with his willingness to work with his team-mates to assist in their personal development, passing on the knowledge and experience gained at the highest level to the likes of fellow opensides Ben Lewis and Steve Tandy.
Speaking after signing his contract today, Marty Holah commented: "When I first signed for the Ospreys, it was the ambition and desire to be the best that attracted me to the region as I wanted to be involved with a team that competed at the highest level. In my first 12 months or so as an Osprey, we've made the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup and won the EDF Energy Cup, and this time around, we're well in contention in all three competitions so it's clear that we're heading in the right direction.
"The culture and environment that is in place here at the Ospreys is geared up for success and I'm really enjoying being a part of it, so the decision to agree to the extra year was an easy one. We've got some big games coming up over the next few months that will really shape our season, and I'm looking forward to helping bring long-term success to the region."
Ospreys Forwards Coach Jonathan Humphreys said: "We are delighted that Marty has agreed to take up the option of an additional year, it is excellent news for the Ospreys. He is a fantastic professional, on and off the pitch, who would be an asset to any squad. With an abrasive edge and an incredible level of work in the contact area, he is one of the best in the world in his position and we are delighted that he sees his future as an Osprey."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.