Rory Pitman impressed for Wales in what was a tough Six Nations campaign.
Ospreys teenager Rory Pitman has flown to New Zealand, where he will spend the summer playing club rugby in Taranaki.
Nineteen-year-old back row Pitman has registered with the Coastal Sports and Social Club in Rahotu, after agreeing to the switch which has been arranged by Ospreys Elite Performance Director Andrew Hore and Andrew Millward, Regional Performance Development Manager, with a view to furthering his rugby education and assisting his long-term development.
A strong and powerful ball carrying No8, Pitman made a huge impression with the Wales U20 squad during what was a disappointing Six Nations campaign for the team overall, including scoring a try against France. Arriving in Rahotu this week, Pitman will play in the Taranaki club competition that kicked off last weekend. He follows in the footsteps of fellow Osprey Jonathan Spratt who enjoyed a successful time in Taranaki last summer. Like Spratt, Pitman could graduate to feature in the Air New Zealand Cup with Taranaki, dependent on his performances for Coastal.
Speaking about the opportunity for the player to experience life in New Zealand, Millward said: "After the success of Jonathan Spratt's trip to New Zealand last summer, we were keen to provide a similar experience to more of our youngsters, and Rory is the first to make the journey. To send a youngster out of his comfort zone to experience a new way of life and new cultures on and off the rugby pitch can only accelerate their development, and there are fantastic benefits to be gained for the player, the region and the club he goes to.
"In Rory's case, the challenges of a new environment will allow him to experience living independently. He is still only a young lad and he will have to develop his decision making skills off the pitch and his personal self management, and see for himself how all this will then impact on his on-the-field behaviours. We think that the trip will help to take him to the next stage of his personal development.
"On the field, he realises that it is going to be tough, as it will be fast and physical. He will be playing for Coastal in the Taranaki club competition, and the door has been left open for him, depending on how he settles in and performs for Coastal, to follow on from Jonathan and possibly experience the Air New Zealand Cup later on in the summer. Whatever the outcome of this trip, it is a wonderful experience for him which he is really looking forward to."
Wales U20 duo Leon Brown and Lloyd Lewis face a busy couple of weeks ahead. Not only will they have a Junior World Championship to take part in, they are both sitting A Level exams during the competition.
Wales U20 face a tough group in the Junior World Championship with France, England and Japan lying in wait but Attack coach Jason Strange and back rower Tom Phillips are looking forward to the campaign ahead.
Angus O'Brien has quickly settled into the Wales Sevens squad after solid performances in Hong Kong and Japan. With two rounds remaining in Glasgow and Twickenham on the World Series, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie chats to the rising star.
Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.