Ospreys Rugby have signed highly rated blindside flanker Olly Cracknell on a three-year deal.
Cracknell, who started every game for Wales at the recent Junior World Championship in New Zealand, has penned his first pro contract which runs until the end of the 2016/17 season after the Ospreys beat off considerable competition to secure his services.
The 20-year old arrives at the Liberty Stadium via a personal journey that has taken him from Leeds where he was born to South Africa and North Wales.
Having been a part of the Leeds Carnegie Academy as a teenager he toured South Africa with Leeds Grammar School in 2012, playing five games, after which he was invited to spend 2013 with the Border Bulldogs Academy in East London where he played for the Currie Cup outfit's U19 team.
Welsh qualified through his grandfather, on his return to the UK in December he was invited to North Wales to sign for RGC in Colwyn Bay, where he caught the eye in the SWALEC Championship. Just three months later he was called into the Welsh U20 squad for the first time as he made his international debut against Scotland in March.
At 1.91m tall and weighing 110kg, his physicality and work rate saw him quickly establish himself as first choice in the number six shirt for the national age-grade team and he started all five games for Wales last month.
"This is awesome for me personally, to have the opportunity to be a part of the Ospreys is unbelievable," said Cracknell after signing for the region.
"First and foremost now I have to work hard to keep developing, make a good impression on the coaches and then push myself into consideration. If I'm given the opportunity to play I'll need to make sure I take it.
"Hopefully I'll add something different to the mix and the coaches will like what they see of me but I realise there are quality players and internationals in my position so I know what the challenge in front of me is. It's an exciting opportunity."
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 and British & Irish Lions skipper Sam Warburton finally got back onto the rugby pitch after injury and contractual difficulties when he played 50 minutes for Cardiff Blues in their 21-17 friendly defeat at Leicester Tigers.
Two tries in a dramatic final five minute flourish from the Dragons earned them a 27-25 victory over English champions and European Challenge Cup holders Northampton Saints in their final warm-up game for the new season.
WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis explains the new Rugby Services Agreement with the Regions in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We also hear from Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde as the Vale Resort is confirmed as one of the World Cup bases, welcomed by Vale sales and marketing director Paul Beddoe. We also cover the Fosters National Sevens with reaction from Llanelli's plate winning captain Duane Eager, while Llandovery lifted the main prize and we speak to coach Lyndon Lewis and captain Matthew Jacobs.
It is the end of an era in Welsh rugby as Liza Burgess ends almost 30 years involved with Wales Women, on this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We also hear what back Robyn Wilkins about what made her take up rugby. Gwyn Morris talks about getting the Principality Premiership referee of the year award, while we hear from director of rugby Mark Hammett at the Blues, Ospreys coach Steve Tandy and Dragons back Hallam Amos about the new season.