The Ospreys are adding Rynier Bernardo to their ranks in the summer
The Ospreys have swooped for South African lock Rynier Bernardo, signing the 22-year-old on a three-year deal.
The second-row who stands at six feet six inches, will link-up with the four-time RaboDirect PRO12 champions at the start of next season.
Pretoria-born Bernardo impressed in his 10 games for the Southern Kings in last year's Super Rugby season and more recently for the Eastern Province Kings in South Africa's Currie Cup.
The Ospreys see Bernardo as a replacement for their departing Wales and British Lions international Ian Evans, who will leave the region for French giant Toulon at the end of the season.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for me, personally and professionally, and I'm really excited about arriving in Wales this summer," said Bernardo. "The Ospreys are a great team used to competing at the top end of the PRO12, with some great players, and I'm looking forward to being a part of a young and talented squad there.
"It's a big challenge for me, but I can't wait to get started. Hopefully I'll be able to make a big impression and help the team to more success, domestically and in European competition."
Bernardo is the Ospreys' fourth new recruit ahead of next season. Steve Tandy and co have already signed Fiji centre Josh Matavesi from Worcester and Wales international full-back Dan Evans and his Newport Gwent Dragons team-mate, hooker Sam Parry.
"Rynier is an exciting addition to our squad and something of a coup for the Ospreys," said Andy Lloyd, rugby operations manager at the Ospreys. "He is highly respected in his home country and comes with a strong reputation as a traditional second row who tackles well, hits rucks, and has the all-round physical edge that you expect from a South African in that position.
"He's a big man who thrives on the unglamorous side of the game and will do the work that doesn't get seen, allowing our back row boys and the backs to express themselves.
"Our feedback tells us he is extremely highly regarded as a potential future Springbok. That kind of attitude is exactly what we want in an Osprey."
The Women's Rugby World Cup warm-up clash between Wales and USA proved bittersweet for centre Elen Evans. Despite being one of the star performers on the day on her 50th Test appearance, USA edged home 10-7 at Cross Keys.
Wales U20 head coach Byron Hayward and back row Will Boyde believe defence will be the key when they face Ireland tomorrow in the second pool game of the Junior World Championship being held in New Zealand.
Tension was palpable as players waited to hear the announcment of the Wales touring squad of South Africa. Matthew Morgan was one of four uncapped players named in the squad after impressing in the Wales Senior Trial.
Wales Trial, Principality Premiership Awards evening and Wales U20s in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Jamie Roberts and Matthew Rees about the Wales Trial, captain Dafydd Lockyer talks about Pontypridd dominating the Principality Premiership awards, while ahead of the start of the Junior World Championships we talk to Tom Williams, Steffan Hughes, Jack Dixon and Nicky Smith.
Coaches Rob Howley and Robin McBryde today confirmed their Probables and Possibles teams to take part in Friday's Wales Senior Trial at the Liberty Stadium and both are predicting some mouth-watering head-to-heads.
Possibles coach Robin McBryde has given his team a licence to thrill in Friday's Wales Senior Trial match. He tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie that his side will be determined to ruffle a few feathers against the favourites, the Probables.
We look at the squads for the Wales trial, European finals weekend and Wales U20 on this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Warren Gatland and Rob Howley on the trial, full back Hallam Amos on his summer hopes, Wales legend Ieuan Evans welcomes European rugby finals weekend to Cardiff and Wales U20 hooker Ethan Lewis looks ahead to the Junior World Championships.
Wales Under 20 head coach Byron Hayward says last night's 31-19 win over Scotland was a crucial building block as the Junior World Cup rapidly approaches. WRU TV's Liz Jones gets his post match reaction.
Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards relives London Wasps triumphs in the Amlin and Heineken Cups in 2003 and 2004 and looks ahead to this year's Heineken and Amlin finals in Cardiff, as well as the Wales trial match.
Simon Easterby is leaving the Scarlets to take up the role of forwards coach with Ireland. The west Wales region confirmed today that their former captain and coach will be allowed to leave his current position at the club to step back onto the international stage.
Wales and British & Irish Lions flanker Justin Tipuric is 'progressing nicely' following his post-season shoulder surgery and is among a host of Ospreys players gearing up for a return in the new season.
Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis today welcomed the dawn of a 'new era' for rugby's premier professional club competition in Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales alongside the announcement of the new GUINNESS PRO12 fixtures.