Ospreys (rugby team)

Ospreys (rugby team)
Ospreys badge.png
Union Welsh Rugby Union
Founded 2003
Location Swansea, Wales
Ground(s) Liberty Stadium (Capacity: 20,532)
Chairman Wales Mike Cuddy
Coach(es) Australia Scott Johnson
Captain(s) Wales Alun Wyn Jones
Most caps Wales Paul James (103)
Top scorer Wales James Hook (780)
Most tries Wales Shane Williams (42)
League(s) Celtic League
2009–10 Champions, 2nd in league
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

The Ospreys (Welsh: Y Gweilch), formerly the Neath-Swansea Ospreys[1] (Welsh: Gweilch Tawe-Nedd), are a professional rugby union team from Wales, playing in the Celtic League, EDF Energy Cup, and the Heineken Cup/European Challenge Cup. At the start of the 2005–06 season, they dropped the Neath-Swansea prefix from their name and are simply known as the Ospreys, however the company is still Neath-Swansea Ospreys.




The Ospreys are one of the five original clubs of the Welsh Regional Rugby Era. The club came into being in the summer of 2003 when the WRU controversially elected to reduce the current top tier of Welsh professional rugby from nine clubs into five regions, attempting to mirror the successful formats in Ireland and the Southern Hemisphere countries of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

The Ospreys represent Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, and areas of the Upper Swansea Valley. The team was initially created as a partnership between the area's two most successful clubs – Neath RFC and Swansea RFC – who still retain ownership of the club on a 50:50 basis.

In summer 2004, due to the liquidation of the Celtic Warriors region, Neath-Swansea Ospreys had their borders extended to cover much of the Bridgend and Ogmore areas to the east. However, for logistical reasons, it was decided that no home games would be played at Bridgend RFC's Brewery Field.

In 2004/05 they won the Celtic League.

In April 2006, it was announced that noted former New Zealand All Blacks scrum half Justin Marshall had signed to play for Ospreys. In November 2006 when it became apparent that Wales 'A' would not be able to face Australia midweek during their November tour, the Ospreys became the first Welsh region to play a major international side since regional rugby was introduced, a match they won 24–16.[2]

The Ospreys won the Celtic League during the 2006/07 season, topping the league by a single point and taking the title with an away win at Borders. Winning the Celtic League for a second time meant the Ospreys were the first team to have won the Celtic League twice. In February 2008, the Ospreys provided 13 of the starting line-up for Wales in their Six Nations match against England, setting a new record for the number of players from one region playing for their national side. During the 2007/08 season the Ospreys reached Quarter-final of the Heineken Cup for the first time but unexpectedly lost to Saracens. The following week they won the EDF Energy Cup beating Leicester Tigers at Twickenham. On 16 May 2008, head coach Lyn Jones, who to that point had been Ospreys' only coach, resigned.[3]

The term Ospreylia[4][5][6] has been adopted by the region and its supporters as a description of the geographical area covered by the region, with supporters known as Ospreylians. Peter Black, Assembly Member for south west Wales has declared himself as AM for Ospreylia on his own blog.[7]

On 21 April 2009, the Ospreys had six players included in the British and Irish Lions' squad for the 2009 South African tour: Lee Byrne (Fullback), Tommy Bowe and Shane Williams (Wings), Mike Phillips (Scrum Half), Alun-Wyn Jones (Lock) and Adam Jones (Prop). One notable omission however, was Wales and Ospreys captain Ryan Jones.

Scott Johnson, the former Head Coach of the Welsh national team, and Attack Coach when Wales won the Six Nations Championship Grand Slam in 2005 for the first time in 27 years, was announced as Director of Coaching at the Ospreys on 29 January 2009. Widely recognised as an excellent technical coach who has inspired fierce loyalty and admiration from players whom he has coached and is notable for producing teams who play inventive, original, entertaining and attacking rugby, Johnson is in overall charge of the Ospreys coaching and playing matters.

On 9 May 2009 the Ospreys announced the signing of the noted former New Zealand All Blacks captain Jerry Collins. Collins had been a stalwart at blind-side flanker for the All Blacks, since 2004 but retired from international rugby in 2008. He can also play in the No. 8 and openside flanker positions. He is regarded as one of the most fearsome players in his position in world rugby. He is revered for his tenacity, fierce physicality and ability to play through pain. He is also widely regarded as one of the most intimidating players in the rugby world with his size and brutal tackling. On 29 May 2010, the Ospreys won the 2009–10 Celtic League by defeating Leinster in the final by 17–12 at the RDS.[8]

Ospreys A

On 23 February 2007, the Ospreys played their first 'A' team match, against Newport-Gwent Dragons 'A' at Bridgend, which was the first 'A' match fixture for any of the Welsh regional sides. They lost the match 22–10.

They since went on to play Worcester 'A' in April, a game which they lost 24–23 to an injury-time penalty.

Home ground

Liberty Stadium

In their first two seasons, the Ospreys shared their home games between St Helen's (home ground of Swansea RFC) and The Gnoll (home ground of Neath RFC). Since their third season in 2005–06, they have played at the purpose-built 20,000 seat Liberty Stadium in Landore, Swansea, which is shared with Swansea City FC. The Liberty Stadium, with double the capacity of St Helen's, has seen a capacity crowd for the matches against international tourists Australia (1 November 2006[9]) and against local rivals the Scarlets.[10]


The Ospreys shirt for 2010–11 features a combination of black and purple, the colour of status in Ancient Rome.The Ospreys' shirt for the 2009/10 season was mainly black and gold. The kit is currently manufactured by Kooga who have produced all Ospreys kit since their innovation in 2003. The shirt's primary sponsor is npower renewables, with secondary sponsorship including Worthington's, Trade Depot, Persimmon, Taylors Regional Food, The Trade Center Wales, Solo Service Group, John West Food Ltd and Cuddy Group. The Ospreys' jersey is currently the second most popular by sales figures throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, behind Munster.[11]


Officer Position
Scott Johnson Director of Coaching
Andrew Hore Elite Performance Director
Sean Holley Head Coach
Jonathan Humphreys Forwards Coach
Alex Lawson Fitness Coach
Damian Karauna Video Analyst
Chris Towers Physiotherapist
Daloni Lucas Physiotherapist


Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under IRB eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-IRB nationality.

Player Position Union
Huw Bennett Hooker Wales Wales
Mefin Davies Hooker Wales Wales
Richard Hibbard Hooker Wales Wales
Ryan Bevington Prop Wales Wales
Craig Cross Prop Wales Wales
Cai Griffiths Prop Wales Wales
Paul James Prop Wales Wales
Aaron Jarvis Prop England England
Adam Jones Prop Wales Wales
Duncan Jones Prop Wales Wales
Ian Evans Lock Wales Wales
James Goode Lock Wales Wales
Ian Gough Lock Wales Wales
Alun Wyn Jones (c) Lock Wales Wales
Chauncey O'Toole Flanker Canada Canada
Tom Smith Flanker Wales Wales
George Stowers Flanker Samoa Samoa
Jonathan Thomas Flanker Wales Wales
Justin Tipuric Flanker Wales Wales
Morgan Allen Number 8 Wales Wales
Joe Bearman* Number 8 England England
Ryan Jones Number 8 Wales Wales
Player Position Union
Kahn Fotuali'i Scrum-half Samoa Samoa
Tom Isaacs Scrum-half Wales Wales
Rhys Webb Scrum-half Wales Wales
Dan Biggar Fly-half Wales Wales
Dai Flanagan Fly-half Wales Wales
Matthew Morgan Fly-half Wales Wales
Pete Smith** Fly-half Australia Australia
Ashley Beck Centre Wales Wales
Andrew Bishop Centre Wales Wales
Gareth Owen Centre Wales Wales
Sonny Parker Centre Wales Wales
Tommy Bowe Wing Ireland Ireland
Hanno Dirksen Wing United States United States
Richard Fussell Wing Wales Wales
Kristian Phillips Wing Wales Wales
Eli Walker Wing Wales Wales
Nikki Walker Wing Scotland Scotland
Shane Williams Wing Wales Wales
Barry Davies Fullback Wales Wales
Ross Jones Fullback Wales Wales
Tom Prydie Fullback Wales Wales
  • Qualified to play for Wales on Residency grounds *
  • Qualified to play for Wales on Dual Nationality grounds **

Transfers 2011–2012



British and Irish Lions

The following players were selected for the British and Irish Lions touring squads while playing for the Ospreys.

Notable former players

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under IRB eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-IRB nationality.

Player Position Union
Justin Marshall Scrum-half New Zealand New Zealand
Gareth Llewellyn Lock Wales Wales
Scott Gibbs Centre Wales Wales
Mefin Davies Hooker Wales Wales
Adrian Cashmore Fullback New Zealand New Zealand
Leigh Davies Centre Wales Wales
Stefan Terblanche Wing South Africa South Africa
Barry Williams Hooker Wales Wales
Mark Taylor Centre Wales Wales
Brent Cockbain Lock Wales Wales
Gavin Henson Centre Wales Wales

Results and statistics

Celtic League

Season Pos Played Won Drawn Lost Bonus Points
2003–04 5th 22 11 1 10 9 55
2004–05 1st 20 16 1 3 10 76
2005–06 7th 22* 11 0 9 3 55
2006–07 1st 20 14 0 6 8 64
2007–08 7th 18 6 1 11 11 37
2008–09 4th 18 11 0 7 8 52
2009–10 2nd 18 13 0 5 6 52
Semi-final Ospreys 20 – 15 Glasgow Warriors
Grand Final Leinster 12 – 17 Ospreys

* Includes 2 "Free Weekends" which equated to 4 points each

Celtic Cup

Season Round Match
2003–04 1st Leinster Lions 35 – 21 Neath-Swansea Ospreys

Heineken Cup

Season Pool/Round Pos Played Won Drawn Lost Bonus Points
2003–04 Pool 2 4th 6 1 0 5 0 4
2004–05 Pool 4 3rd 6 3 0 3 2 14
2005–06 Pool 4 3rd 6 2 0 4 1 9
2006–07 Pool 3 2nd 6 4 1 1 2 20
2007–08 Pool 2 2nd 6 5 0 1 1 21
Quarter-final Saracens 19 – 10 Ospreys
2008–09 Pool 3 2nd 6 4 0 2 4 20
Quarter-final Munster 43 – 9 Ospreys
2009–10 Pool 3 2nd 6 4 1 1 2 20
Quarter-final Biarritz 29 – 28 Ospreys

Anglo-Welsh Cup

Season Group/Round Pos Played Won Drawn Lost Bonus Points
2005–06 Group A 3rd 3 1 0 2 2 6
2006–07 Group A 1st 3 3 0 0 2 14
Semi-final Ospreys 27 – 10 Cardiff Blues
Final Leicester Tigers 41 – 35 Ospreys
2007–08 Group C 1st 3 3 0 0 2 14
Semi-final Ospreys 30 – 3 Saracens
Final Ospreys 23 – 6 Leicester Tigers

Club honours

  • Celtic (Magners) League – 2004/05, 2006/07, 2009/10
  • EDF Energy Cup – 2007/08

Notable former coaches

See also


  1. ^ The Ospreys is the brand name of the team, since they now have more associates than just Neath and Swansea. The official name of the company behind the team is still Neath-Swansea Ospreys (see also Ospreys Outrage! and Neath RFC – Ospreys fly!)
  2. ^ "Wallabies to face Ospreys". Sky Sports. http://home.skysports.com/list.aspx?hlid=410016&CPID=303&clid=1710&lid=6857&title=Wallabies+to+face+Ospreys. Retrieved 16 August 2006. 
  3. ^ "Celtic League – Jones leaves Ospreys". Yahoo! Sport UK & Ireland. 16 May 2008. http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/16052008/58/celtic-league-jones-leaves-ospreys.html. Retrieved 16 May 2008. [dead link]
  4. ^ Rugby puts Ospreylia on the map WalesOnline, 28 October 2006
  5. ^ Ordnance Survey maps out special edition for 'Ospreylia' WalesOnline, 27 October 2006
  6. ^ Amazon found in the continent called Ospreylia WalesOnline, 17 April 2006
  7. ^ "Probably the best region in the World". Peter Black AM. http://peterblack.blogspot.com/2006/10/probably-best-region-in-world.html. Retrieved 6 September 2007. 
  8. ^ Petrie, Richard (2010-05-29). "Leinster 12–17 Ospreys". BBC Sport. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/welsh/8713104.stm. Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  9. ^ Ospreys 24–16 Australia BBC Sport, 1 November 2006
  10. ^ Ospreys 50–24 Scarlets BBC Sport, 26 December 2006
  11. ^ "Rugby's most valuable shirt set to become UK's top seller". OspreysRugby.com. Archived from the original on 30 October 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20061030051225/http://www.ospreysrugby.com/ospreys_news_view.php?news_id=347. Retrieved 16 August 2006. 
  12. ^ http://www.ospreysrugby.com/news/5628.php
  13. ^ http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3825_6832119,00.html
  14. ^ http://www.ospreysrugby.com/news/5312.php
  15. ^ http://www.espnscrum.com/celticleague-2010-11/rugby/story/134243.html
  16. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/13779706.stm
  17. ^ http://www.ospreysrugby.com/news/5127.php
  18. ^ http://www.ospreysrugby.com/5144.php
  19. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/13743283.stm
  20. ^ http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/sports/T110418003604.htm
  21. ^ "Rugby: Nutbrown returing (sic) to BOP". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 24 May 2011. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10727679. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  22. ^ http://www.ospreysrugby.com/rugby/seniors/5349.php
  23. ^ "Holah latest to make Ospreys exit". BBC News. 19 April 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/13137435.stm. 
  24. ^ "Connacht sign Jarvis and Loxton". BBC News. 15 February 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/my_club/connacht/9398176.stm. 
  25. ^ http://www.ospreysrugby.com/news/5478.php

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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