The draw for this season’s Ospreys Cup has taken place at the region’s Llandarcy Academy of Sport HQ.
The Ospreys Cup is the competition that matters to clubs in the region at U15 and U16 level, and its sixth year gets underway representatives and players from the clubs involved attended a special launch night.
The evening started with a welcome from Ben Rose, WRU Regional Development Manager for the Ospreys region, before the attendees from the 26 competing clubs heard from Paul Sellars of Swansea University, who is investigating player retention in age grade rugby in conjunction with the Ospreys.
The sole aim in setting up the Ospreys Cup competition was to help clubs retain players at an age where it has been traditionally found that players tend give up playing in large numbers, the talk was a topical one, looking at why this happens, ways the clubs could keep their young players, and what support was available to aid this.
Suki Hayer, Ticket Sales Manager at the Ospreys then informed the coaches and team managers of the latest deals and incentives available to all clubs in the Ospreys region to allow them to watch the team at a discounted price, throughout the season.
Once Nathan Johns, Ospreys Cup organiser, had informed the clubs of the 2014/15 regulations, the main event of the evening took place - a live draw to place the teams in their respective groups.
It's the first time that the draw has taken place in this way in front of the competing teams and their representatives, and it was special guest, Ospreys back-rower Tom Smith, who did the honours.
Smith is currently combining his recovery from knee surgery with coaching, having graduated from working with the Ospreys age-grade squads to coaching at his former club, Neath Athletic, and was keen to share his experiences with the attending clubs and pass on his thoughts about ways they could help retain their young team members.
Along with being a tool for player retention, the Ospreys Cup also provides meaningful competition for club teams at the Under 15 and 16 age grades, with clubs enjoying cross border competition against teams that they wouldn’t normally encounter with teams from Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea going head-to-head.
To further help this, there are two levels in both age grade, a main competition as well as a development competition. This means all teams can compete in the cup regardless of the strength and size of team that they have.
The Ospreys Cup pool draws are as follows:
Under 15's Cup Group
This draw determined who played who home or away as they only play each other once. The top four will go into the cup semi finals and the bottom four playing for the plate semi finals.
Under 15's Development competition
This competition is divided into two groups. The top two in each group playing off in the semi finals of the Bowl competition and the bottom four playing off in the quarter finals of the Shield Competition.
This Tournament has four groups. two in the cup competition and two in the development competition.
Cup Group A
Cup Group B
Development Competition Group A
Development Competition Group B
For more information on the Ospreys Cup, and for the teams fixtures, please visit www.ospreyscup.org