Filo says sayonara to the Ospreys

Filo Tiatia has announced that he is to leave the Ospreys at the end of the current season to take up a coaching role in Japan.


39-year old Tiatia, who hung up his playing boots following the Magners League Grand Final in Dublin last May after 99 appearances for the region, will take up the post of Forwards Coach at his former club Toyota Verblitz in the Top League ahead of the new season in Japan that gets underway in the summer.

The switch will bring to an end a five-year association with the Ospreys for Tiatia, who moved to the region from Toyota in the summer of 2006, a period that has seen him establish himself as an Ospreys legend on the field as well as embarking on his fledgling coaching career.

After cutting his coaching teeth with as Defence Coach with Swansea RFC he became an age-grade coach within the Ospreys Elite Youth Development programme, before taking up a coaching role working with the B group at the Ospreys as well as specialising in the tackle contest area. During this time, Filo and his family have settled in the region, with three of his five children born in Swansea.

Speaking about his decision to take up the post at Toyota, Tiatia said:

“I’m very sad to be uprooting my family and moving on from Swansea and the Ospreys, but it’s a decision I’m making firstly to be nearer home and my family in light of some of the events that have occurred in the southern hemisphere recently and secondly, on a professional basis, as it allows me to make the next step in my coaching development.

“I’ve had five years here and I’ll take away some great memories from my time as an Osprey, not least three children who were born in Swansea, so I will always have a very strong connection. It’s been a fantastic time and the supporters have really taken to me as one of their own, which is the best thing I can say about the region. I know that I will always remember my time here, and I sincerely hope that I have been able to leave some kind of legacy that Ospreys fans will remember me for.

“I wouldn’t have left the Ospreys for just any club. I’m going back to Toyota, another club that I have strong links and a real connection with having spent four years there prior to joining the Ospreys. It’s an organisation and a place that I’m familiar with, and having been fortunate enough to enjoy some fantastic experiences as a coach with the Ospreys, this move will provide me with another excellent opportunity to develop my coaching further.”

Elite Performance Director, Andrew Hore, paid tribute to Filo for his outstanding service over the last five years, wishing him the best of luck in his new role:

“Filo has been a tremendous servant to the region in his time here and obviously we will be disappointed to see him leave at the end of the season, but as both a family man and a dedicated professional, we can fully understand and accept the reasoning behind his decision.

“He has been an asset to the organisation on and off the field. As a young coach he has learnt the ropes on the Ospreys Coach Development Pathway over the last four years, having a huge influence on the next generation of Ospreys, and will definitely leave his mark on the organisation.

"The Ospreys are all about development from within, it is at the very heart of everything we do. Opportunities at the very top level are limited though, and as is often the case, the time is now right for Filo to move on to a new challenge, which will allow him to continue his development and reach his full potential as a coach, while taking him closer to home and his family.”

During his time as an Osprey, Tiatia has picked up silverware regularly, winning the Magners League in 2007 and 2010, along with the EDF Energy Cup in 2008. With just three games of the regular season remaining Tiatia is keen to go out with a bang, and he’s hoping that the Ospreys will be able to extend their campaign into the Play-Offs:

“I’m here until the end of the season, that’s when the final curtain will come down on my time as an Osprey. We’ve got three tough games to go and we know what we’ve got to do if we want to keep the season going into May. I’ll be working hard to make sure I leave on a positive note. It will be great to get to the Grand Final again and be the first team to successfully defend the Magners League title.

“One chapter of my life is closing but I’m not the type to say never. Who knows, another chapter with the Ospreys could yet open in the future.”