The Ospreys have handed a first professional contract to young second row Lloyd Peers.
The 21-year old has signed a two-year deal that will keep him at the Liberty Stadium until the summer of 2015.
A product of the Ospreys player development pathway, Peers has come through the ranks at the region, playing club rugby for Bridgend Athletic and Bridgend Ravens, and has captained both the Ospreys and Wales at age-grade level as well as the Ravens in the Principality Premiership.
Peers made his regional debut away to Exeter in last season’s LV= Cup, finishing the campaign with four appearances to his name, one of which came in the PRO12.
Injuries in the pack in recent weeks have seen Peers becoming a regular feature in the match day squad for the Ospreys and he has featured in each of the last eight games for the region, including his first taste of Heineken Cup action in the back-to-back games against Toulouse as well as two Welsh derbies against Cardiff Blues and the Scarlets, taking his tally to 12 games. He has been named in the starting XV to play against Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade today.
Speaking about his new deal, Peers said:
“I’m really excited about signing this contract. The Ospreys are my home region and I’ve come through the age grade system here so this is the next big step for me.
“In my position, where there are quality international players ahead of me, I’m definitely learning from the best, people who have been there and done it for the Ospreys and for Wales. It’s a great place for me to learn my trade in the second row.
“I’ve been playing in the Premiership with Bridgend, waiting for my chance, and it’s good to have been given my opportunity recently. It’s gone well for me, and the target for me now is to work hard and hopefully nail a place in the squad with the Ospreys and become a regular on a match day week in, week out.”
Andy Lloyd, Rugby Operations Manager at the Ospreys, welcomed the good news.
“Lloyd is someone who has come right the way through the system and is something of a model of how we want the pathway to work” he said.
“His potential was identified at a young age allowing him to represent the region at age-grade level and Bridgend College, before playing Premiership rugby at his local club and then coming into the senior environment during the LV= Cup period.
“Now, with that experience under his belt, he’s knocking on the door to be a regular first teamer. He has an excellent attitude and is professional in everything he does, and we are delighted to have been able to secure his services. He is a great ambassador for the Ospreys cause and if he continues to work hard will no doubt have a very bright future with the region.”