The Ospreys have secured two highly rated young forwards, 18-year old lock, James Ratti and 21-year old prop, Alex Jeffries, both putting pen to paper on development contracts.
- Former Dunvant RFC youngster Ratti has come through the development pathway at the Ospreys, playing age-grade rugby for the region and Wales before featuring for Aberavon and the Prem Select last season
- Jefferies made his debut for Newport RFC as a 17-year old and has already made 70 appearances for the club by the end of last season
- Both players will be part of the 'B' group at the Ospreys this season
Ratti is the fifth home grown youngster on the region’s development pathway to be handed a contract ahead of 2016/17, while Jeffries makes the move from Gwent, where he represented the Dragons at age grade level and has played 70 times for Newport RFC, scoring 7 tries.
Dan Griffiths, Development Manager at the Ospreys said:
“It is always a significant moment in any young players career when they secure a development contract and, although Alex and James have followed different paths to get to this point, they should both take great pride in what they’ve achieved so far.
“James joins four of his age-grade colleagues who signed development contracts only last month having been part of our system over the last three or four years. In Alex’s case, he is someone who has been on our radar due to the potential he has shown in the Premiership and is coming somewhere that he knows the focus will be on development and giving him the assistance required to fulfill his potential.
“We wish them both the best of luck as they look to take this opportunity and establish themselves with the region.”
Ratti has come through the regional development pathway, starting off with Dunvant RFC and Bishopston Comprehgensive before going to represent Gower College Swansea. Capped by Wales at U18 earlier this year, he also featured as an unused replacement for the U20s during their successful Six Nations campaign.
A physical presence and a strong ball carrier, he is a dynamic athlete with real speed around the field. He already has senior appearances under his belt for both Aberavon in the Premiership and the Ospreys Premiership Select in the B&I Cup, highlighting his undoubted potential to become a well rounded player with the ability to play in the second or back row.
Having established himself as a Premiership regular at Newport since making his debut aged just 17, Jeffries arrives at the region with a reputation as a physical and powerful tight head. At 1.93m tall and weighing 123kg, he has been capped by Wales at U18 and U20 level.