The Ospreys are delighted to confirm that Tommy Bowe has signed a new contract that keeps him at the region until the end of the 2012-13 season.
25-year old Bowe, who can play anywhere in the back three or at centre, has made a huge impact in an Ospreys shirt since arriving in the region in the summer of 2008. Fans favourite Bowe has already made 34 appearances for the Ospreys, scoring 18 tries, including an impressive nine in his last ten outings.
His form in an Ospreys shirt has been replicated on the international scene, where he has established himself as a regular in the green of Ireland, scoring 11 tries in 25 appearances. He enjoyed a hugely successful summer tour with the British & Irish Lions to South Africa, starting all three tests and scoring four tries during the tour.
Bowe, who is also the all-time leading Magners League try scorer, originally signed a two year deal with an option to extend for an extra year, but he has now agreed to commit to a further three years at the Liberty Stadium. Speaking after putting pen to paper on the new contract, Bowe said:
"The Ospreys coaching staff, combined with the rugby programme in place here at the Ospreys, is helping me to fulfill my potential. In addition, as a team I feel we are on the cusp of something special and I want to be part of it. From an international perspective, the Ospreys have been the platform for much of the rugby success I have enjoyed, along with the memories I have banked over an unbelievable last 18 months, and as a result I feel a strong sense of loyalty to them.
"I was flattered by the interest from other European clubs, but after taking advice from my agent, family and friends, it all came back to the fact that I am enjoying my rugby and life in general at the Ospreys.
"Obviously, a return to Ireland had a strong emotional pull and I take enormous pride in the privilege of wearing the Irish jersey. With a father from Munster and a mother from Leinster, who are season ticket holders at Ulster, and having played for Ulster with great friends there, you can imagine the thorough family discussions about the merits of returning to play in Ireland.
"I just feel all the ingredients are here for long-term success and I wanted to give Mike Cuddy, Roger Blyth, the coaches, my team-mates and the Ospreys supporters my commitment for three years. I'm very excited about what we can achieve in that space of time. I love the way we play rugby here at the Ospreys and I'm excited about being involved in the Christmas derby games and upcoming crucial European fixtures."
Ospreys Head Coach, Sean Holley, said:
"This is clearly excellent news for all concerned at the Ospreys, and is the perfect Christmas present. Tommy is a vital part of what we are trying to create here from a playing and a cultural point of view, and the fact that he has opted to extend his stay with us is a clear indication that he believes in what we are trying to do.
"When we originally targeted Tommy as a potential signing, we felt that as well as him bringing his obvious strengths to the team, that we could also offer him the opportunity to develop his own game and his career. This has certainly rung true, Tommy and the Ospreys have complimented each other fantastically over the last year and a half, and we are very proud of his achievements on the international stage. The fact that he is a proven try scorer, can play in a number of positions and exhibits good leadership qualities are an obvious bonus to the team.
"His performances so far this season have shown that there is even more to come from him and we are delighted that we are now able to call on his services for an additional three years. He is a genuine world-class talent, who is much sought after and still very young. The fact that he has opted to stay in our environment for as long as he has committed to as he feels that it is the best place for him at this moment in time, is a great boost for the players, coaches, administrators and supporters alike."
Ospreys Elite Performance Director, Andrew Hore, added:
"Once again the Ospreys board have clearly shown their support for the ambitions we have here as a coaching team and playing squad, and we are grateful as always for that backing. They share our long-term vision for the future of the region, and continue to back that up with their commitment and investment, on and off the field. The Directors have worked hard to secure Tommy's future with the Ospreys in the face of some intense competition, and for that they should be congratulated. His re-signing is a tremendous coup for the region and we look forward to seeing him in an Ospreys shirt over the coming seasons, as well as continuing his excellent work off the field to assist with the ongoing development of his fellow Ospreys.
"While we are committed to the development of local, young talent, and are proud of our enviable record of doing so, we have always maintained that we need to supplement this with a handful of top quality non-Welsh players who will add to what we are trying to create, on and off the pitch, and there is no doubt that Tommy certainly fit's the bill in that respect."