- Ospreys (rugby team)
Ospreys Union Welsh Rugby Union Founded 2003 Location Swansea, Wales Ground(s) Liberty Stadium (Capacity: 20,532) Chairman Mike Cuddy Coach(es) Scott Johnson Captain(s) Alun Wyn Jones Most caps Paul James (103) Top scorer James Hook (780) Most tries Shane Williams (42) League(s) Celtic League 2009–10 Champions, 2nd in league1st kit2nd kit Official website www.ospreysrugby.com
The Ospreys (Welsh: Y Gweilch), formerly the Neath-Swansea Ospreys (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.
- 1 History
- 2 Ospreys A
- 3 Home ground
- 4 Strip
- 5 Management
- 6 Players
- 7 Results and statistics
- 8 Club honours
- 9 Notable former coaches
- 10 See also
- 11 Footnotes
- 12 External links
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.
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.
The term Ospreylia 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.
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.
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.
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) and against local rivals the Scarlets.
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.
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
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 Mefin Davies Hooker Wales Richard Hibbard Hooker Wales Ryan Bevington Prop Wales Craig Cross Prop Wales Cai Griffiths Prop Wales Paul James Prop Wales Aaron Jarvis Prop England Adam Jones Prop Wales Duncan Jones Prop Wales Ian Evans Lock Wales James Goode Lock Wales Ian Gough Lock Wales Alun Wyn Jones (c) Lock Wales Chauncey O'Toole Flanker Canada Tom Smith Flanker Wales George Stowers Flanker Samoa Jonathan Thomas Flanker Wales Justin Tipuric Flanker Wales Morgan Allen Number 8 Wales Joe Bearman* Number 8 England Ryan Jones Number 8 Wales Player Position Union Kahn Fotuali'i Scrum-half Samoa Tom Isaacs Scrum-half Wales Rhys Webb Scrum-half Wales Dan Biggar Fly-half Wales Dai Flanagan Fly-half Wales Matthew Morgan Fly-half Wales Pete Smith** Fly-half Australia Ashley Beck Centre Wales Andrew Bishop Centre Wales Gareth Owen Centre Wales Sonny Parker Centre Wales Tommy Bowe Wing Ireland Hanno Dirksen Wing United States Richard Fussell Wing Wales Kristian Phillips Wing Wales Eli Walker Wing Wales Nikki Walker Wing Scotland Shane Williams Wing Wales Barry Davies Fullback Wales Ross Jones Fullback Wales Tom Prydie Fullback Wales
- Qualified to play for Wales on Residency grounds *
- Qualified to play for Wales on Dual Nationality grounds **
- Chauncey O'Toole from The Rock
- George Stowers from London Irish
- Kahn Fotuali'i from Crusaders
- Joe Bearman from Newport Gwent Dragons
- Aaron Jarvis from Bath
- Pete Smith from Northern Suburbs
- Hanno Dirksen
- James Hook to Perpignan
- Lee Byrne to Clermont
- Mike Phillips to Bayonne
- Jerry Collins to Yamaha Júbilo
- Jamie Nutbrown to Bay of Plenty
- Craig Mitchell to Exeter
- Marty Holah to Waikato
- Jonathan Spratt to London Irish
- Matthew Jarvis to Connacht
- Rory Pitman to Glasgow Warriors on Loan
- Andy Lloyd to Ospreys management team
- Ben Lewis retired due to injury
- Conor McInerney retired due to injury
British and Irish Lions
The following players were selected for the British and Irish Lions touring squads while playing for the Ospreys.
- Brent Cockbain 2005
- Gavin Henson 2005
- Ryan Jones 2005, 2009
- Shane Williams 2005, 2009
- Tommy Bowe 2009
- Lee Byrne 2009
- Adam Jones 2009
- Alun Wyn Jones 2009
- Mike Phillips 2009
- James Hook 2009
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 Gareth Llewellyn Lock Wales Scott Gibbs Centre Wales Mefin Davies Hooker Wales Adrian Cashmore Fullback New Zealand Leigh Davies Centre Wales Stefan Terblanche Wing South Africa Barry Williams Hooker Wales Mark Taylor Centre Wales Brent Cockbain Lock Wales Gavin Henson Centre Wales
Results and statistics
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
Season Round Match 2003–04 1st Leinster Lions 35 – 21 Neath-Swansea Ospreys
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
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
- Celtic (Magners) League – 2004/05, 2006/07, 2009/10
- EDF Energy Cup – 2007/08
Notable former coaches
- Lyn Jones (2003–2008)
- ^ 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!)
- ^ "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.
- ^ "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]
- ^ Rugby puts Ospreylia on the map WalesOnline, 28 October 2006
- ^ Ordnance Survey maps out special edition for 'Ospreylia' WalesOnline, 27 October 2006
- ^ Amazon found in the continent called Ospreylia WalesOnline, 17 April 2006
- ^ "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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Ospreys 24–16 Australia BBC Sport, 1 November 2006
- ^ Ospreys 50–24 Scarlets BBC Sport, 26 December 2006
- ^ "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.
- ^ http://www.ospreysrugby.com/news/5628.php
- ^ http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3825_6832119,00.html
- ^ http://www.ospreysrugby.com/news/5312.php
- ^ http://www.espnscrum.com/celticleague-2010-11/rugby/story/134243.html
- ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/13779706.stm
- ^ http://www.ospreysrugby.com/news/5127.php
- ^ http://www.ospreysrugby.com/5144.php
- ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/13743283.stm
- ^ http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/sports/T110418003604.htm
- ^ "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.
- ^ http://www.ospreysrugby.com/rugby/seniors/5349.php
- ^ "Holah latest to make Ospreys exit". BBC News. 19 April 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/13137435.stm.
- ^ "Connacht sign Jarvis and Loxton". BBC News. 15 February 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/my_club/connacht/9398176.stm.
- ^ http://www.ospreysrugby.com/news/5478.php
- Ospreys (official site)
- Ospreys on itsrugby.co.uk
- Aberavon RFC (official site)
- Bridgend RFC (official site)
- Neath RFC (official site)
- Swansea RFC (official site)
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