Aberavon prop earns Ospreys contract

Ospreys Rugby are delighted to announce that highly rated Aberavon loose head, Rowan Jenkins, has signed a development contract with the region.

  • 25-year old prop signed for Aberavon in 2010 and has played over 170 games for the Wizards
  • Was part of the traveling squad for last month's trip to Waterloo and featured in the 71-0 win over Belgium
  • Capped for Wales U18 while representing Scarlets at age-grade level

The 25-year old, who travelled to the Ospreys’ summer training camp in Waterloo and featured off the bench against Belgium, has built an impressive reputation in the red and black of the Wizards, a model of consistency in the front row while clocking up more than 170 appearances for the club since signing in summer 2010.

A former Wales U18 cap, Jenkins played alongside the likes of Lloyd Ashley, Dan Baker, Ben John, Rhodri Jones and Eli Walker for the national side while involved in the Scarlets age-grade squad, before moving to the Talbot Athletic Ground as a 19-year old.

He has combined his career in the Principality Premiership with a full-time job as a prison officer, taking a career break to allow him to pursue this opportunity with the Ospreys.

Speaking after joining up with the squad at Llandarcy, Jenkins said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me. I’m really looking forward to a new challenge and giving it my best shot. I’m still finding my feet a bit, a little bit nervous, but it’s a chance for me to commit full time to my rugby, work hard and, hopefully, make the step up.

“I’ve been talking to Andy Lloyd for a while now and was fortunate to get a call to go to Belgium last month, which I really enjoyed, it was a great experience that gave me a taste of what this is about. Doing it every day, week in, week out is another level again and I know the size of the challenge.

“Aberavon are a great club. They’ve supported me over the last six years, helping me towards this, and I’m thankful for that support.”

Andrew John, Aberavon RFC Chairman, said:

“We are delight that Rowan has achieved his ambition in becoming a professional rugby player, especially with our local region. We wish him every success.”

His comments were echoed by Jason Hyatt, Aberavon RFC, Head Coach, who added:

“Rowan has worked very hard to earn this opportunity; he has been a stand out performer in the Principality Premiership for several seasons and has also shown his potential during the previous British and Irish Cup competitions. I am positive that Rowan will thrive in a professional environment with the Ospreys and go on to play some great rugby.”

Ospreys Head Coach, Steve Tandy, said:

“Rowan has been one of the leading loose heads in the Premiership over the last few years and we’ve been watching his development, which led to him coming to Belgium where were able to take a closer look at him within our environment.

“He has all the raw ingredients needed to be an Osprey, along with a desire to be the best he can be, and he has earned this opportunity with a remarkable level of consistency for Aberavon.

“He’ll be with us seven days a week now, in an environment geared to development, which will encourage him to keep working hard towards becoming a fully fledged Osprey.

“His progression gives a positive message to players in the Premiership, that if you work hard, play well and keep developing, you will be noticed. Not everyone will follow the traditional pathway through regional age-grade, but whoever you are, if you are performing at a Premiership club, there is a pathway through to the Ospreys for you.”