James King has recommitted to the Ospreys, putting pen to paper on a new three-year deal.
The versatile 22-year old, who began playing rugby with Mold as a schoolboy, has been with the region since early 2008 after accepting an invitation to move south after catching the eyes of the Ospreys talent ID team.
He made his debut for the region against Glasgow in October 2009, his first start coming two weeks later away to Bath in the LV= Cup. 2011/12 was his breakthrough campaign, his 24 appearances throughout the season including outings off the bench in the PRO12 semi-final and final. In total he has made 48 Ospreys appearances to date and scored two tries, the second of which came in this week's win over the Scarlets at the Liberty Stadium. Since returning from injury at the end of October he has caught the eye with an impressive run of form, during which he made his Heineken Cup bow, playing the entire 160 minutes of the double header against Toulouse.
Speaking after signing his new deal, King said: "I've been here since 2008 and it's gone well for me. This is my region and I've very happy to stay here. Last season I was fortunate enough to get involved a lot more and get more game time. I got to play in the final, which was really great. I'm still developing as a player though and this is the place for me to do that.
"The Ospreys have a great record for providing players to Wales, especially forwards. With so many being away there will always be younger guys coming into the squad, that's where I got my chance originally.
"I want to be playing week-in, week-out for the Ospreys. Ideally I'd like to be able to force my way into play regularly in the back-row but if that's not possible, and if the team need it, I'm happy playing in the second row. Just to be out there in the Ospreys shirt is the most important bit."
Andy Lloyd, Rugby Operations Manager, commented: "James signing a new contract is a huge boost for the Ospreys. He's an outstanding athlete who can play anywhere in the second row and anywhere in the back row. I've got no doubt that it's only a matter of time until James goes on to play international rugby so everyone at the Ospreys should be delighted that we've secured him for another three years."
WRU International Skills Coach Jason Strange is a busy man, combining the new role with that of Wales Under 20 attack coach, Ebbw Vale head coach and continuing to teach at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community.
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.
Following their historic win over England, Wales Under 20 suffered a narrow, 36-34 loss to their Scottish counterparts last weekend, despite outscoring them by five tries to three. Watch the match highlights and reaction.
WRU TV go behind the scenes with the Wales squad as they put the final touches in place ahead of the clash against Scotland at Murrayfield. Follow the squad on their captain's run, the kickers visit to Murrayfield and Neil Jenkins' press conference