Tandy is delighted with Tom Smith's decision to remain at the Ospreys and sees him as a key player
Steve Tandy has hailed Tom Smith's decision to stay at the Ospreys as the best news of the summer.
The former Wales Under-21s captain was poised to join London Irish at the end of last season but performed a u-turn following the installement of Brian Smith at the Exiles.
The Ospreys quickly swooped to re-sign the back-row forward and Tandy was delighted with the capture.
"Tom coming back is massive for us, not just because he's a top player but also because of the amount of work he does behind the scenes," Tandy told the South Wales Evening Post.
"He puts in hours of work on line-outs, helping the coaches and educating the younger guys, trying to get better.
"Every time he goes on the field you know what you are going to get. He's going to struggle to get off that pitch because he's put everything into his performance. He is a huge asset."
Smith played in every minute of the Ospreys' regular season, only failing to come off the bench in the region's RaboDirect PRO12 final in Dublin.
The flanker is of huge importance to the Ospreys due to his willingness to get through the unglamorous 'donkey-work'. And the fact that he has not gained international honours he is available all year round.
"I appreciate the fight and effort those guys put in," said the Ospreys head coach.
"We are lucky in that the people who don't get so many headlines here just get on with their jobs and have great attitudes.
"There were a lot of tough calls made last season, leaving out Kahn Fotuali'i for Rhys Webb in the PRO12 final, for instance, and omitting Tom even though he had played in every previous league game in the season.
"Then there was being unable to find a place for Sam Lewis after his outstanding performance out in Aironi.
"But the great thing is the boys all accepted the calls, because they understand what being part of a squad is all about.
"Tom's response after the Pro12 final was particularly pleasing. He didn't get on but was just happy we'd won. There was no moaning and that told me a lot about the kind of professional he is.
"Guys like him and the others put the organisation before themselves. If you've got people like that you're on your way.
"Our squad might be thin in certain areas in terms of strength in depth, but the mindset and character boys like Tom, Sam, Kahn and Tom Isaacs showed at times last season was outstanding. It goes a long way to ensuring success."
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
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The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
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Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.