Joe Thomas has said his farewells at Llandarcy Academy of Sport and will head south to New Zealand this weekend to take up a new rugby challenge.
It’s a rugby journey normally done in the opposite direction, but with his current contract expiring at the end of the season, the 23-year old centre is linking up with the Otorohanga club in the Waikato Premier Club Rugby competition.
Thomas has played 16 times for the Ospreys since his debut against Gloucester in January 2015. Seven of those appearances have been during this season, the last of which was the away game versus Stade Francais in December.
Speaking ahead of his departure, Thomas said:
“This is an exciting opportunity for me and while I’m disappointed to be leaving the Ospreys I’m really looking forward to a new experience in New Zealand, enjoying a different culture and lifestyle.
“I’ve loved playing for the Ospreys and representing my home region since I first got involved with the academy at 14, and I’ll continue to support the boys.
“At times I’ve been unfortunate with injury but with my contract expiring I’ve got to put that behind me and move on, and I’d like to thank everybody I’ve worked with at the Ospreys for their support and help while I’ve been part of the squad.”
Everyone at the Ospreys wishes Joe the best of luck in New Zealand.