Ryan Jones was today confirmed as Ospreys captain for the 2009/10 season and has spoken of his delight at retaining the Armband.
"I'm honoured to be confirmed as Ospreys captain once again for this season. I realise that over the last few weeks the coaching team have been looking at the situation and assessing how the playing squad works together, and I'm proud that having looked closely at a very strong group of players, they have shown faith in my abilities to lead the Ospreys. I have been involved with the ongoing, two-way discussions and kept fully informed of the position, and I'm obviously delighted that I will now be able to continue the job I've been doing over the last two seasons.
"For us to hit the performance levels that are required consistently over the course of the season, it's not going to be just about how I lead the team. I'm fortunate that we have a number of influential players with leadership skills and experience within the group who will work with me over the course of the season to help the Ospreys build on our successes to date."
Ospreys Head Coach Sean Holley added:"We've taken our time over the appointment as it is a crucial one that we had to get right. With it being Scott Johnson's first pre-season at the Ospreys, and Ryan and the Lions players not returning to training until August, it was important that we took the chance to look at the dynamics within the group to make the right decision. There was also the concern that we have had about Ryan's workload being overburdened, and he has been fully involved in our discussions all along so he has been well aware of what our line of thinking was and why, he fully understands the situation, and has been able to address any concerns.
"Now that he has been confirmed as captain for the new season, Ryan can't wait to get started, and as we all know, he is 100 percent committed to the Ospreys and will, no doubt, continue to prove to be a positive influence. There is a strong leadership group within the squad who will continue to provide Ryan with the support and backing to help ensure that the Ospreys continue to prosper, on and off the field."
Ryan made his Ospreys debut in a Magners League clash against Munster in September 2004, going on to make 71 appearances for the region to date, scoring nine tries. In addition, he has represented Wales on 33 occasions, as well as featuring in all three tests for the Lions against New Zealand in 2005.
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.