The Ospreys have completed the signing of former New Zealand back-row forward Jerry Collins on a two-year deal.
The 29 year-old Collins, who made 48 appearances for the All Blacks, will make the switch to the Liberty Stadium from French club Toulon this summer, having now committed himself to the region until the end of the 2010/11 season.
Renowned for his physicality and inspirational defensive work, Collins is widely regarded as one of the leading back row players in world rugby. Primarily operating as a blindside flanker, he is equally capable of playing at openside or Number eight.
Standing 1.91m tall and weighing 109kg, Collins made his New Zealand debut as a 20 year-old against Argentina in 2001 and scored five tries for his country. He captained the side on three occasions and played in all three tests against the British & Irish Lions in 2005. His final cap came at the Millennium Stadium in October 2007, when France overcame the All Blacks in a World Cup quarter-final.
He played his domestic rugby with Wellington in the NPC, before stepping up to play Super 14 rugby with the Hurricanes, making 74 appearances, playing alongside Filo Tiatia in both competitions.
Andrew Hore, Ospreys Elite Performance Director, said:"As an organisation, we have always looked to bring in people of real quality from outside the region when we feel that they have the right characteristics to complement what we already have here, and Jerry Collins certainly fits that description. He is a proven world-class performer, who brings with him both a real hard edge and 'go-forward'.
"He will complement the other loose forwards that we have at the Ospreys, and importantly, will be available for selection throughout the season, providing valuable cover for the times when we lose so many players to the Welsh side.
"The Ospreys remain 100 per cent committed to producing home grown talent, and are immensely proud of our record in bringing through players for both the Ospreys and Wales teams. As we have shown before, there are occasions where we need to go outside of the region to identify and recruit true leaders in their field, who can help to develop and nurture our own young talent. In Jerry Collins we have certainly got a true leader."
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.