The Ospreys are delighted to confirm that young flanker Ben Lewis has today signed a new four-year contract with the region.
OSPREYS SECURE YOUNG FLANKER FOR FOUR MORE YEARS The 21-year old prospect has been rewarded for the huge impact he has made in his first full season in an Ospreys shirt, penning a deal that will keep him at the Liberty Stadium until the end of the 2011/12 season. He made his Ospreys bow off the bench against Leinster at Donnybrook in January 2007, but it is this season where he has come into his own, making a further 14 appearances and scoring 3 tries. A former Wales Under-19 captain, his energy and work-rate around the pitch has already caught the eye of Warren Gatland who earlier this year tipped the Mumbles RFC product as a potential successor to Martyn Williams in the Welsh side. Currently combining his fledgling Ospreys career with studying for a degree in sports science at Swansea University, he is the latest graduate from the successful Ospreys Academy, following in the footsteps of young Welsh internationals such as James Hook, Ian Evans and Alun Wyn Jones. Speaking after signing his new contract, Ben Lewis said: "I couldn't have realistically expected things to have gone so well for me this year, and a new contract is just the icing on the cake. At the start of the season my main ambition was to make sure I grasped every opportunity that came my way as I knew that with the World Cup and the Six Nations I was likely to get a chance at some stage. Just to be a part of the Ospreys squad right now is exciting enough for a young player like myself, but I won't settle for a new contract and a place in the squad. I want to establish myself in the first team and I'm excited about the challenge ahead of me if I'm going to achieve that aim. For me in particular, every day in training and every match I play is a learning experience. Working with the likes of Ryan Jones, Marty Holah and Filo Tiatia, some of the best guys in the world in their positions in the back-row, can only help me develop as a player and the great thing is that each one of them is happy to take time out to help me work on my game. I think there's an element of poacher turned gamekeeper in my relationship with them though, as I'm not just looking to learn from them but to oust them from the team eventually. It's a tough ask but I'm looking forward to the future with the Ospreys." Ospreys Head Coach Lyn Jones added: "Ben has made fantastic progress this season and the new contract is recognition of this. We've been aware of his talent for some time, and anyone who watched him playing for the Ospreys A side last season would have seen his potential for themselves. He's taken the opportunities that have come his way this season and has stood out in a number of games, making a huge impression on some knowledgeable rugby people. He's got a bright future ahead of him, and thankfully, for the next four years we know that it will be with the Ospreys."