Cory Allen has revealed the reasons behind his move to the Ospreys on a two-year deal from the start of next season.
The four-cap Welsh international centre has agreed a switch from Cardiff Blues, where he has scored 12 tries in 56 games, and Allen said that the region’s reputation for development, the exciting brand of rugby being played and the young and ambitious coaches, made for a package he couldn’t turn down.
“Ever since I met with Steve Tandy and the coaches to talk about the possibility there was only ever going to be one place I wanted to play rugby next season” he explained.
“The Ospreys are playing some great rugby this year and, personally, I can’t wait to be a part of the squad next season. You look at where the Ospreys are at the moment, they are in a good place as a team and competing on two fronts, with a great style of rugby.
“There’s a young squad and the prospect of competing next season with some of the quality centres already there is an exciting one.”
Having met with Tandy and previously worked with Backs Coach, Gruff Rees, Allen acknowledged that working with the forward thinking pair had been a big part of the attraction.
“Steve is ambitious and, with the rest of the coaches, has a plan for where he wants the Ospreys to go” Allen continued.
“There are a few things he said that really excited me and I’m looking forward to working with him.
“I also know Gruff Rees very well, he was my coach with Wales U18s and that was a great year for me, I really developed working under him and it’ll be good to have him as a coach again at the Ospreys, that can only help me to continue developing and that’s important.”
Allen will arrive at Llandarcy Academy of Sport in the summer looking to benefit from an environment that prides itself on development, hoping to follow in the footsteps of a host of under the radar signings over the years who have thrived and kicked on to establish themselves after signing for the Ospreys.
“That’s another big reason for me signing” he admitted.
“When you look at their record for developing players it’s pretty impressive by any standards and that includes boys that they sign from other regions or clubs. Everyone who goes there seems to improve as a player, it’s what the Ospreys are best at. The focus is always on development and improvement, whoever you are. You never stop looking to improve and being at the Ospreys can help me do that.
“I’m still young with, hopefully, a long career ahead of me. I still have Wales ambitions having had a taste of it, I want to be playing in big PRO12 and European games and I think the Ospreys is the best place for me to do that.”