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."
We hear from new WRU chairman Gareth Davies in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We also speak to WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis and outgoing chairman David Pickering, while Wales coach Warren Gatland explains his selections for the November internationals.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland paid tribute to rugby administrator, Stuart Gallacher who passed away at the weekend before he talked about the squad which he has selected for the autumn internationals.
Wales hooker Ken Owens, actor Julian Lewis Jones (Invictus), and WRU mascot Scorch were among the VIPS at Fitzalan High School in Cardiff to launch a new, film-based literacy initiative being made available to schools throughout Wales.
The Webb Ellis Cup stopped off in Cardiff for the day as part of a two week tour of the UK as part of the RWC2015 'Too Big To Miss' ticketing campaign which coincides with the current window for tickets being on public sale.
The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a nationwide education programme, to help all involved in the game to recognise and remove' players with concussion. Wales, Racing Metro and Lions centre Jamie Roberts Wales assistant coach Rob Howley, WRU Head of Rugby Josh Lewsey and representatives of grassroots clubs in Wales who helped finalise the policy. We also hear from WRU National Medical Manager Prav Mathema, plus Llanelli and Cardiff in the Principality Premiership.
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.
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.
Regional Rugby Wales (RRW) the organisation that represents the four Welsh Regions in the professional game will be renamed as part of its strategy to strengthen the development and performance of the professional game in Wales.
Former Wales Sevens star James Davies is hoping to make the most of his opportunities after his eye-catching performance for the Scarlets against Leicester Tigers in the European Champions Cup at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday.