Ospreys Rugby are delighted to confirm that Scott Baldwin has signed a new long-term contract.
The 25-year old hooker, who became the region’s latest Welsh international during June’s tour to Japan, was handed a fresh deal that runs until the summer of 2017 after enjoying a breakthrough campaign in 2012/13 which saw him featuring regularly in the RaboDirect PRO12 as well as gaining his first Heineken Cup experience.
Baldwin has been an Osprey since January 2009 when his form in the Welsh Premiership with hometown club Bridgend was rewarded with a first regional contract. He made his Ospreys debut two months later, coming off the bench against Leinster at the Liberty Stadium.
He was very much on the fringes of the regional set-up in his first three years, but after a loan spell with the Ospreys partner club in Italy, ASR Milano, he returned to Wales at the start of 2012 and was heavily involved in the end of season run-in to a fourth league title, coming off the bench in the dramatic win over Leinster in the Final.
Last season saw him firmly establish himself, making 23 appearances during the campaign to take his overall tally to 39, before gaining his first Wales call for the summer tour.
Speaking after putting pen to paper, Baldwin commented:
“I’m really pleased. The Ospreys have been really great to me since I came on board four years ago and I’ve really developed. Last season was a big jump forward for me, being involved regularly week in, week out, and I’m happy that everything is sorted so that I can look forward to the new season and beyond that, working with a great bunch of boys in the team and great coaching staff.
“The good thing about the Ospreys is the way they bring players through each year, not just youngsters but boys from the Premiership who haven’t been part of the age-grade set-up. It shows that there is talent beyond the age of 20 or 21 and if you work hard then the Ospreys will give you a chance. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity and I hope I’ve been able to make the most of it.”
Andy Lloyd, Rugby Operations Manager at the Ospreys, paid tribute to Baldwin’s hard work”
“Scott has been outstanding for the region over the last 18 months and has earned this contract with his hard work, effort and dedication.
“He’s been in our system a long time now, since he was brought in from Bridgend a few years back, and it’s important to understand that a breakthrough season like he enjoyed last season doesn’t just happen overnight. He’s worked really hard over a number of seasons to improve both his physicality and his technical skills, and remained patient when at times he found a lack of game time frustrating.
“I’m really pleased for him. He is an excellent role model to other players in the region who are playing in the Premiership, working hard and performing consistently. Scott has shown that if you put the hard work in you can get the reward, both regionally and nationally. The challenge for him now that he has secured a new contract is to continue working hard and to strive for continuous improvement rather than just settling for what he’s got.”
With Jonathan Humphreys now part of the Scottish national set-up, Baldwin added that he’s looking forward to working with Chris Gibbes, the newly appointed Forwards Coach, as he looks to build on last season’s achievements.
“Humph has been massive for me over the last few years and I owe a lot to him but we’ve got a new Forwards Coach now which makes it really interesting in training. Chris has come in, taken a few sessions and it’s going to be good to see where he takes the forwards this season. I’m just proud to be part of it for the next few years.”