Ospreys Rugby are delighted to announce that James King has become the latest player to commit their future to the region, signing a three year deal that keeps him at the Liberty Stadium until 2018.
The 24-year old, whose previous contract expired at the end of the forthcoming campaign, has put pen to paper on a new contract after establishing himself a key figure in Steve Tandy’s squad in recent seasons.
Expressing his delight at the new deal, centurion King said:
"Obviously it’s great news for me, I’m really pleased to have got this contract sorted nice and early. It means that I can just focus on rugby for the next three years, and it’s good not to have any distractions.
“I’ve been here seven years now, since I was 18, so this region is my home. There's intense competition for places at the Ospreys, particularly in the positions I play, so I consider myself fortunate to have had so many games over the last few seasons.
“That competition is what’s needed if we want to keep building on what we have done over the last few seasons. We still have a young squad and we know that if we keep working hard and pushing each other, then we can improve as individuals, and as a team, over the next few seasons. It’s an exciting time for the Ospreys.”
The three times capped Wales international has been at the region since the start of 2008 when he headed south from his family home in Mold to join the region’s development pathway.
He featured regularly for Aberavon in the Welsh Premiership, making 48 appearances for the Wizards, with his regional debut coming as a replacement in a 9-all draw with Glasgow at the Liberty Stadium while still a teenager.
His versatility has seen him wear 4, 5, 6 and 7 in Ospreys action, making 20+ regional appearances in each of the last four seasons.
King became only the 22nd player to complete a century of appearances for the region earlier this year, at Parc y Scarlets on the first weekend of January, as he racked up a career best of 27 games in a season for the Ospreys in 2014/15.
In total, he has made 113 Ospreys appearances to date, scoring four tries.
Rugby General Manager, Andrew Millward, welcomed the news, saying the competition for places in the back five will be important for the Ospreys.
“If we want to be successful, we have to have quality players competing in every position” said Millward.
“James certainly fits the bill when you talk about quality and it is excellent news that he has signed for another three years.
“He’s a player who was recognised as an outstanding prospect as a youngster and invited into our environment, where he has thrived and really become an important part of what we are about.
“A great professional and an outstanding athlete, with a real desire to succeed, he is always pursuing excellence and refuses to compromise on the standard expected of himself and others. His consistency is an example to his teammates, whatever number he has on his back.
“He had a great season in 2014/15, probably his best yet, which was shown in selection. What you’ll get with James though is a determination to improve on that, to ensure he remains a regular on a match day regardless of the strong competition for places in the squad.”
King follows Nicky Smith, Matthew Dwyer, Joe Bearman, Tom Grabham, Tom Habberfield and Dmitri Arhip in signing new deals since the start of the year while skipper, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb have all signed National Dual Contracts with the WRU.
In addition, Paul James, Brendon Leonard, Gareth Delve and Kristian Phillips have been confirmed as additions to the squad for the coming season.