Ian Gough is to leave the Ospreys after reaching an agreement on the final year of his contract with the region.
The 36-year old second row exits the Liberty Stadium with the best wishes of everybody at the Ospreys after six years of sterling service with the region and is now free to pursue other career options.
Speaking about the decision, Gough said:
“With sadness it’s time to announce that I am leaving the Ospreys by mutual consent. I have been at the region since 2007 and have enjoyed every minute of my time here. The welcome I had and the friends and memories I have made will stay with me forever.
“I’ve enjoyed on field success with the team, winning trophies, and have also been lucky enough to help with coaching the young regional age grade players within the set up who I believe have a massively bright future and will help take this region forward. I consider Swansea my home now. I wish everyone at the region the best of luck for the future and look forward to watching you play and enjoying a few beers with friends there when able.”
Gough has proven to be one of rugby’s stalwarts during a lengthy career that began back in the 1990s. Having made 119 appearances for the Ospreys since signing in the summer of 2007, with his 92 games for the Dragons prior to that he has made a total of 211 regional rugby appearances since 2003, second only behind fellow lock Adam Jones at the Dragons with 228.
In total, he has made 480 first class appearances throughout his career, including 139 for Newport RFC, 57 for Pontypridd, 64 for Wales and a further nine with Wales A and in uncapped Wales matches.
Rugby Operations Manager, Andy Lloyd, commented:
“Ian has been a tremendous servant to the region since signing in 2007, on and off the field, never giving anything less than 100 per cent to the Ospreys. Not only as he worn the jersey with pride, he’s given his time to work with the next generation as a coach with the U16s and U18s to help develop some of the young second rows that are now coming through the system.
"Second row is a position where we are fortunate to boast considerable strength in depth, with Ian playing a large part in that thanks to his efforts off the field with the younger players coming through. As such, and in respect of the outstanding service he has given to this region, it makes sense for us to reach an agreement that will allow him to undertake fresh challenges."
“He leaves us with the best wishes of everybody at the Ospreys, with thanks for his services and with good luck for the future.”
Chief Executive, Andrew Hore, added:
“Our best wishes go to Ian as he starts a new chapter in his life. It is a fact of rugby life that players come and go, but Ian has been around our environment for a number of years now and has always represented the region with real pride.
“I’ve no doubt that whatever challenge he faces next, he will tackle it with the same tenacity he has shown on the pitch to make him such a popular member of the squad, and we look forward to seeing him back at the Liberty in the future.”