Bishop to set new Ospreys appearance record

Andrew Bishop will become the most capped Osprey of all time this Friday night.

Midfield stalwart Bishop will make his 181st appearance for the region, moving ahead of Paul James at the top of the list.

The Llantrisant born centre has been a mainstay of the Ospreys squad since making his debut against Borders in February 2005, with 10 tries to his credit so far.

A model of consistency in the black shirt, he has also featured frequently with Wales during this time, earning 16 international caps so far, the last of which came against the Barbarians at the Millennium Stadium this summer.

Reflecting on his time as an Osprey, Bishop was clearly delighted to be reaching such an important landmark.

“It’s a fantastic achievement to become the most capped Osprey” he said.

“I’m extremely proud of it, particularly when you look at the quality of the players we’ve had here and who are at the top of the appearance list, real Ospreys legends.

“When I started off as a youngster to just get selected for the Ospreys and to pull the shirt on was something amazing and I never could have imagined that I would go on to play so many times for the region.

“I just aim to go out and give my best every time I’m selected and thankfully the coaches have been happy enough with that to pick me. I’m happy here, this is my region and I obviously want to keep on playing for the Ospreys. I’m only 27 so there should be plenty more games left in me, if my body is up to it!”

Ospreys Backs Coach, Gruff Rees paid tribute to Bishop, declaring him “one of the first names on the teamsheet”.

Rees said:

“To have played so many times for the Ospreys says everything about Andrew. In terms of consistency, application, effort and attitude he is second to none and is everything we want to see in our players.

“Everything he gives this group means that he has been one of the first names on the teamsheet here for some time, with this coaching group and previously. There has always been intense competition for places yet he has continuously been a go-to player at the Ospreys, which says it all really.

“He is a huge asset to the Ospreys, always striving to improve, always looking to learn, and is so influential on the pitch week-in, week-out. I’m delighted for him that he has reached this landmark, and fully expect to see him kick-on from here to pass 200 and continue being a positive influence.”