The Ospreys are delighted to confirm that Jonathan Thomas has signed a new three-year contract.
Pembrokeshire born Thomas has put pen to paper on a deal that keeps him at the Liberty Stadium until the end of the 2010/11 campaign, taking the number of players who have committed their long-term future to the region in recent months to 10.
The versatile 25-year old had been with the Ospreys since their inception in 2003 having previously played for Swansea, making his regional debut against Leinster in November that year. Capable of playing in the second row or in any of the back row positions, Thomas has clocked up 94 Ospreys appearances to date, putting him joint fourth in the region's all-time appearance list, scoring five tries.
He has also been a regular in the Welsh set-up since making his international debut in Australia during the 2003 summer tour, playing a part in two Grand Slam successes and travelling to two Rugby World Cups. He started in both of the recent tests against South Africa, taking his total number of Wales caps to 46 and he has scored seven tries in international rugby.
Speaking after signing his deal, Thomas said:
"The Ospreys have come a very long way over the last five years and the way that the region has developed and grown is way beyond the expectations of any of us who were there at the start in 2003. The Directors have shown their ambition by bringing on board people like Andrew Hore and it is up to the players to match their ambition. It's an exciting time for the Ospreys and I want to continue to be a part of it.
"We've got a great bunch of players at the region, the core of which has been together for five years now, so there's an excellent spirit and togetherness. We've achieved quite a bit of success so far, but we're still a young squad so hopefully we'll be together for a long time yet, enjoying more success in an Ospreys shirt."
Ospreys Coach Sean Holley welcomed the news that Thomas has agreed to extend his time at the Ospreys. He commented:
"Everyone at the Ospreys is delighted to have secured Jonathan's services for another three years. As one of the founding players from the summer of 2003, he fully appreciates and understands the values and cultures that we are looking to build within the region and always displays great enthusiasm and pride in the Ospreys shirt, as he does with the national team.
"Jonathan is one of the natural leaders within the group. To achieve success in all three competitions that we compete in, we need as many leaders as possible so this news will give the whole squad a boost.
He is still young, is ambitious and influential on and off the pitch, and has a desire to succeed, so it is fantastic news for the region that he sees his future here at the Liberty Stadium."
Thomas follows on from fellow Welsh internationals Shane Williams, Lee Byrne and Huw Bennett, former All-Black Filo Tiatia and youngsters Ben Lewis, Ed Shervington, Leigh Bevan, Gareth Owen and Rhys Webb in signing long-term contracts with the region.