Back-rower Smith signs new deal

The Ospreys are delighted to confirm that Tom Smith has signed a new three-year contract that keeps him at the region until at least the end of the 2011/12 season.

23-year old back-rower Smith, from Port Talbot, has already clocked up 40 appearances for the region since making his debut against Connacht at the Liberty Stadium in February 2007. Capable of playing as a blindside flanker or at number eight, former Wales Under-21 captain Smith has this season emerged as an important squad member, making five appearances so far this campaign.

Speaking after signing his new contract, Smith said:

“I’m a local boy and I want to be playing for the Ospreys. I’ve grown up here and I just want to make the next step and really establish myself with my home region. The record here shows that there’s really no better place to be as a young Welsh player coming through the ranks and I’m really excited about the opportunities ahead for me over the next couple of years.

“Having a three year contract gives me some security in the knowledge that the Ospreys are happy with what I’m doing at the moment, and more importantly, what I can potentially achieve in the future, and it allows me to get my head down and keep working hard without any distraction.

“It’s a big season for me this year, I’ve been involved regularly in the early games but I know that I need to keep improving and keep developing. I realise that to be playing in the big games at the moment means that I’ve got to be selected ahead of some top quality, experienced players. I know that I may have to be patient, but working with them day-to-day will help me improve as a player in the long run, which will benefit me personally, and hopefully, the Ospreys as a team.”

Ospreys Head Coach, Sean Holley, added:

“Not many people outside of Ospreylia will know a lot about Tom Smith, but we’ve seen him develop into a young man that is seriously contending with All Blacks and British Lions for a place in the Ospreys starting line-up.

“Another local product, Tom has been around the Ospreys environment for a long time now and is emerging as a fine player with a high work-rate, good aggression and strong leadership skills. We are delighted that he recognises that the Ospreys is the best place for him to continue his development, and we firmly believe that not only can he become a central figure for the region, he is also a future contender for international recognition.”