Centre Kieran Williams has put pen to paper on his first professional contract, taking the number of players to sign new deals with the Ospreys ahead of the new season to 18.
The former Glynneath RFC youngster, who has featured 24 times for Neath in the Welsh Premiership, has been rewarded for the potential he has shown when on regional duty in the British & Irish Cup and Celtic Cup over recent seasons, despite some niggling injury problems that have limited his game time.
The 22-year old was a regional age-grade champion with the Ospreys at U18 level, shining in a 43-14 win over Cardiff Blues in the 2015 final when he scored two tries alongside his centre partner, Owen Watkin.
Williams has made four senior appearances for his home region so far, having made his debut off the bench in an LV= Cup loss to Harlequins at St Helens in November 2016. His one Guinness PRO14 appearance to date came away to Zebre at the end of the 2017/18 season.
Speaking about his new contract, Williams said he’s looking to the future and rewarding the coaches for their faith in him.
“I’m massively pleased. Personally, it’s been a tough last two years but with this contract I can look to the future and really push for a starting spot.
“This pre-season I want to hit the ground running so I can really do something with these next two years. It’s fantastic that the coaches have recognised my potential. It’s just a case of rewarding that trust and really doing something with it.
“I’m still young and the aim is to improve, get fitter, faster, and become a better all round player. I can only do that if I’m consistently playing, and consistently playing well.”
Williams joins fellow youngsters Will Griffiths, Dewi Lake, Harri Morgan, Morgan Morris and Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler in signing their first pro deals.
“We know Kieran’s got pedigree, he'd a standout campaign for Wales U20s two years ago” said Ospreys Head Coach, Allen Clarke.
“A number of injuries have hindered his progress but with a bit of good fortune he'll put a run of games together and we’ll see his undoubted potential come to the fore over the next two seasons.
"Kieran's another local boy who's passionate about the club and we're delighted he's committed to his home Region."
Senior players to have re-signed this year are:
Lloyd Ashley, Cory Allen, Matthew Aubrey, Hanno Dirksen, Dan Evans, Alun Wyn Jones, Luke Morgan, Scott Otten, Ifan Phillips, Luke Price, Nicky Smith and Gareth Thomas
First professional contracts:
Will Griffiths, Dewi Lake, Harri Morgan, Morgan Morris, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler and Kieran Williams
Gareth Anscombe, Gareth Evans and Carl Hogg (Forwards Coach)