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."
UEFA has today confirmed the Football Association of Wales (FAW) has been successful in its bid for the Millennium Stadium to host the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday 3rd June, 2017 (kick-off: 19.45hrs GMT).
The winners of a filmmaking competition organised by the education charity Into Film and the WRU enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of the Millennium Stadium - and a chance to be photographed with the WRU's fire-breathing, rugby loving mascot, Scorch The Dragon, and Welsh international, Jake Ball.
The Wales Under 20 camp are in a quietly confident mood as they face Ireland in the U20 Championship, with Coaching Co-Ordinator Allan Lewis and full back Dafydd Howells targeting a top five finish in the tournament.
Wales U20 may start as favourites against Japan this evening in the U20 Championship, but Team Manager Mark Taylor is warning against complacency. He is also hoping a good win will boost morale and 'kickstart' performances.
Coach Richard Hodges is hoping Wales U20 can put a disappointing campaign behind them when they tackle Japan tomorrow as they look to finish the U20 Championship strongly to secure a good seeding for next year's tournament.