Jamie Nutbrown became the latest player to reach a half century of Ospreys caps when he came off the bench in the second of half of Saturday's Magners League win over Glasgow .
The 29-year old former New Zealand ‘A’ scrum-half made his 50th appearance for the region since arriving in Ospreylia back in September 2008. A double ‘Super Rugby’ winner with Canterbury Crusaders, Nutbrown joined the Ospreys from the Chiefs, making his debut as a late replacement off the bench for Rhodri Wells in a 32-10 win over Cardiff Blues at the start of the 08/09 campaign.
Speaking about reaching the landmark, Nutbrown said.
“It’s a good achievement that I’m pleased to have got to. It’s probably taken a bit longer than I would have hoped, I had a few injuries in my first couple of seasons which slowed me down a bit but I’m proud to get to 50.
“It’s an honour to join the guys who have already played 50 for the Ospreys, there are some real icons in the list ahead of me. It’s not always easy for a player to get to 50 with the calibre of players we have in the squad here, so I’m pretty stoked about it to be honest.”
Head Coach, Sean Holley, paid tribute to Nutbrown, saying:
“This is a nice milestone for Jamie, who has worked very hard since he came to the Ospreys. He’s extremely well liked by the players and coaching staff here, and he really adds to our environment. He’s a quality player who brings a lot of dangerous attributes to the ruck area.
“As a scrum-half, having had to play second fiddle for large periods to a seasoned Welsh international, it can be frustrating, but he has certainly made a positive impact here, and it’s a fitting that he made his 50th cap against the side he scored his first Ospreys try against in his first season here.”
With just five games remaining this season, Nutbrown’s experience is sure to come to the fore over the coming weeks as the Ospreys look to secure their place in the Magners League Grand Final at the end of May, and he says that the key will be for the squad to keep improving week on week, timing their end of season run to perfection, just as was the case twelve months ago.
“It’s a bit like last season all over again” he said.
“We’ve put ourselves in a good position to push on from here and hopefully get ourselves a home semi-final. We’ve done a lot of hard work as a group over the last couple of months, and it’s just about carrying on that hard work now, for these last five games, to try and book that home semi again. We need to keep improving each work, work hard, and hopefully we’ll get that reward. If we can do that, we’ll be in a good place come the end of the regular season.”
At the heart of the Ospreys recent record equalling run that has seen the side rise to second spot in the Magners League table has been the form of a number of young players who have enjoyed an extended run in the team since the end of January, something Nutbrown is in full agreement with. He added:
“That’s dead right, but it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. The guys that have been performing these last few months have actually been here for two or three years now on the whole, they haven’t just been thrown in at the deep end. They aren’t new guys coming in from scratch, they’ve all been here a wee while now, they are used to working with the group and they know the Ospreys way. Everybody here knew what they are capable of doing.They’ve had their chance to get a good run of games under their belt now it’s good to see that the development work over the last few years with them seems to be paying off.”