The Ospreys are delighted to confirm that New Zealand A scrum-half Jamie Nutbrown has signed a two-year contract with the region.
The Waikato Chiefs player has completed his move to south Wales after Ospreys bosses successfully negotiated an early release from his existing contract with the NZRU, which had one more year remaining.
The Canterbury born player, who was part of the Crusaders 2005 Super 12 winning squad, will arrive in the UK early next week.
Ospreys Elite Performance Director Andrew Hore said that he was pleased that the long-running saga had reached a satisfactory conclusion. He commented:
"The esteem in which Jamie is held in his home country is clear in the way that the NZRU were so keen to keep hold of him. We've worked long and hard over the last month or so to negotiate an early release from his existing contract as we believe he will be a real asset to the Ospreys over the next two seasons, and hopefully beyond that, and we are delighted that our patience and hard work has been rewarded.
Jamie has a wealth of Super 12/14 experience with both the Chiefs and the Crusaders, as well as playing for New Zealand A, and this experience can only be of benefit to the region. As a person and as a rugby player, he has an excellent work ethic and sets very high standards on and off the pitch. His enthusiasm and professionalism rubs off on others, and he shares the same core values as the Ospreys, which is one of the main reasons why he is so keen to join us.
His arrival will give us another option at scrum half, providing real competition for Mike Phillips and increasing the strength in depth of our squad. As well as looking to push Mike for the number nine shirt, given the type of person that Jamie is, I also see him playing a big role in the continued development of young Rhys Webb as he looks to establish himself as a scrum half of note. I have no doubt that Jamie will have a huge impact, both in the dressing room and out on the field, and he shares our excitement about what the future holds for him at the Liberty Stadium."
Having come to prominence with the Crusaders, where he shared scrum-half duties with Justin Marshall, Nutbrown has spent the last three seasons with the Chiefs where he has been involved in a keenly contested battle for a starting place with All Black Brendan Leonard, clocking up 23 appearances. He has also represented Bay of Plenty in the Air New Zealand Cup during this time, and was appointed captain for the Steamers 2008 campaign. His final outing for them came in Friday's 31-20 win over Otago.
Standing 1.79m tall and weighing in at 87kg, he has represented New Zealand at all age groups as well as A Team level and had been hotly tipped in his home country for a call-up to the All Blacks squad for the autumn international series.