Dwyer makes full-time rugby switch

Hooker gets his first Ospreys contract

Ospreys Rugby are delighted to confirm that hooker Matthew Dwyer has signed his first full-time contract with the region.

The 28-year old combined life as an Osprey with his day job as a serving soldier last season after impressing in the Welsh Premiership with Bridgend Ravens, but the new deal allows him to commit full-time to regional rugby with the support of his regiment, the Welsh Guards.

Born in Newport, Dwyer has served in the Welsh Guards for the last eight years, seeing action in Bosnia and Helmand Province in Afghanistan, and has represented his regiment, the British Army and the Combined Services on the field, as well as being selected for the Barbarians in 2010.

Speaking after signing his new deal, Dwyer said he was looking forward to being able to focus solely on rugby this season:

“It’s nice to know that I’ve made a big enough impression to be offered a contract here, and the army are fully supporting me, so I’m in a good place at the moment.

“I came in last year from Bridgend but I didn’t do a full pre-season because of other commitments, and I had to balance rugby with my army life throughout the season as well, but now the Ospreys can be my sole focus for the next couple of years.

“Last year was difficult at times as I had to satisfy army commitments, quite rightly so as I’m a soldier first before I’m a rugby player, but this year the Welsh Guards have supported me and told me to just concentrate on the Ospreys and do what I can.

“That’s great for me as it allows me to focus solely on rugby without worrying about anything else. I’m extremely grateful to the Ospreys for giving me this opportunity and to the Welsh Guards for getting behind me 100 per cent.

“I’ll have a full pre-season with the squad now and hopefully that will allow me to reap the benefits throughout the season as long as I keep plugging away.”

Dwyer first came to the Ospreys attention playing for Bridgend during their 2010/11 promotion winning season under current Ospreys Head Coach, Steve Tandy, and made one regional appearance at the start of 2011/12 against Leinster at the Liberty Stadium.

He remained on the region’s radar and spent more time in the environment last season, adding a further seven appearances, including his first start last November, also against Leinster, and a brief outing off the bench away to French giants Toulouse in the Heineken Cup a month later.

Rugby Operations Manager, Andy Lloyd, commented:

“Matthew is going to be with us full-time now which is great news for both him and for the Ospreys. His army commitments meant that he spent a lot of his time away from us last year but now he will be in our environment day in, day out, and that can only benefit him and allow him to become a better player.

“He is another example of the way Premiership rugby should work at a regional level, with players catching our attention through performing consistently well and then taking the opportunity to step-up when offered a chance.

“He did really well against the likes of Leinster and Gloucester last season and showed what potential he has. He’s a really good footballer with a good arm, he’s tough and he’s hard working and we are providing him with a chance to play more rugby at this level. Being with us every day now will allow him to commit time to work in the gym and become rugby fit, not army fit, and that should make a big difference.”