The Ospreys today took another leap forward in the expansion of the regional structure, by announcing the appointment of former Wales international Kevin Hopkins
The move comes on the back of the recent announcement of former Wales legend Paul Thorburn as Strategic Development Manager and additions to the squad which this season have included All Black Justin Marshall, Welsh internationals Lee Byrne and Tal Selley and Scotland international wing Nikki Walker.
In his new role as Director of Rugby, which starts with immediate effect, Hopkins will be responsible for the strategic development and management of the Ospreys squad, drawing on the talents of the side's existing coaching team and academy structure. This will involve establishing what the Ospreys are calling a "Regional Rugby Masterplan" -- in effect a high-level regional rugby strategy that links the region's existing playing capabilities with emerging stars of the game from the Ospreys' enhanced academy structure, to create a sustained and evolving three-year rugby campaign.
Ospreys chiefs today heralded Hopkins' appointment, which they will put the Ospreys at the forefront of Celtic and European rugby.
Ospreys joint Managing director Roger Blyth said:
"Kevin's appointment is another critical step in the Ospreys desire to remain at the forefront of regional rugby. The Ospreys are committed to pushing the boundaries of regional rugby both in terms of the quality of rugby output, the experience for supporters and the commercial success of the game itself. Our root and branch approach to innovation, both on and off the field, is something we intend to pursue with vigour and one which we believe is key to the Ospreys being at the forefront of Celtic and European rugby."
Ospreys joint Managing director Mike Cuddy added:
"Kevin has all the qualities we were looking for in our new Director of Rugby. He has proven his leadership on the pitch as one of the outstanding club captain of his day. Likewise, his skills as a coach in his own right bring an added dimension to the understanding of the dynamics of rugby succession planning. Combined with a commercial acumen born out of the day to day experience of business finance in his off the field activities, means Kevin not only brings a new added depth of experience to the Ospreys but a combination of skills and experiences that a rare indeed in one individual, let alone one from our own region."
Commenting on his appointment, Kevin said:
"I am delighted and honoured to accept this new role within the region. The Ospreys have a highly talented group of coaches headed up by Lyn Jones and I'm looking forward to working with them to further develop the undoubted potential that is within the squad not only of today, but helping plan, identify and develop the teams of tomorrow."
"The Ospreys have led the way in the development of the regional rugby concept in Wales and have enjoyed enormous success both on and off the pitch. It is an exciting time for rugby in this region and an exciting time to become involved with a new strategic approach to the way Ospreys rugby will be developed, planned and mapped for the future."