Smith reaches 50 for the Ospreys

Tom Smith will become the latest player to hit a half century of caps for the Ospreys when he runs out at Kingston Park for Saturday night's opening LV= Cup fixture against Newcastle Falcons.


The 24-year old, who operates equally comfortably at number eight or blindside flanker, makes his 50th appearance for the region almost four years after his debut during the 2006/07 season, where he replaced Lee Beach during a 31-10 win over Connacht at the Liberty Stadium.

He has cemented his place in the Ospreys squad over the last couple of seasons, and he says that he’s delighted to win his 50th cap for his home region:

“It’s nice to reach any milestone, to play 50 games for the region is something I can be proud of, particularly with it being my region and where I come from. To hit 50 is a special achievement for me I definitely think that.

“I’m a local boy, and the Ospreys is where I want to play my rugby. There is some real competition in my position but I’ve got to rise to that challenge if I want to be playing regularly and get my next 50 games.”

Smith will provide the experience in a back row that includes youngsters Justin Tipuric and James King, who can boast just 12 appearances between them, finding himself in the unusual position of being the older head looking to offer guidance to his team-mates:

“I’ve put my time in over the last couple years and hopefully I’ll be able provide a bit of experience to quite a young side this weekend” he said.

“I like to lead from the front and maybe show the way a little bit, and hopefully I can do that in this competition.

“It’s a big opportunity for some of the boys who haven’t had many matches but there’s no hiding place, at times like this people have to put their hands up and show what they can do. A lot of people have put faith in the players and it’s an exciting opportunity for everyone involved, now we’ve got to do our bit.

“Like any English side I think they’ll be physical, particularly at the breakdown. We know that we are going to have put a few things right from the Dragons match, the whole squad has to front up and come of age a little bit, but I genuinely believe that we can go up to Newcastle and do a job.

“I’ve no doubt we can compete. This competition allows us to blood youngsters, to give people an opportunity to show what they can do. There is real talent in this group, we can definitely compete in this competition even though we are up against some good teams, and that is what we are looking to do over the next few weeks.”