Thornton the latest to commit

Ospreys Rugby are delighted to confirm Rory Thornton as the latest player to sign a new contract.

  • Second row is the 12th player to sign a new deal with the Region since the start of 2018
  • The news comes the day after Moldovan tight head Gheorghe Gajion was confirmed as the sixth new signing ahead of next season
  • Thornton made his debut against Saracens at the Gnoll in November 2014 and has played 59 times for the Ospreys to date 

The 23-year old second row has put pen to paper on a two-year deal with his home region, becoming the 12th player to recommit during 2018.

Approaching full fitness after a nightmare season that has seen him suffer two lengthy spells on the sidelines with shoulder injuries, the former Wales U20 captain is delighted to have signed a new deal and is targeting increased game time next season.

“I’ve got two more years with my home region, which I’m really happy about” said Thornton.

“I’ve had a frustrating year with the shoulders and I’ve missed a lot of rugby but I’m getting close to full fitness and really looking forward to having a full pre-season, making up for lost time. I’m chomping at the bit to get going again, next season is an important one for me. 

“It’s an exciting time for me and I’m looking forward to being fully fit again, spending time working more closely with Allen Clarke and, hopefully, doing enough to get more game time. I can’t wait for the new season to come around.” 

Having come through the development pathway at the Ospreys via Bonymaen and Swansea, Thornton was crowned the Youth Development Player of the Year at the Region in 2013, and captained the Welsh U20 team during the 2015 Six Nations and Junior World Cup. 

By that time he had already started to make his mark in an Ospreys shirt, his debut coming in an Anglo Welsh Cup tie against Saracens at the Gnoll in November 2014, his PRO12 debut just a fortnight later versus Ulster at Kingspan Stadium. He made his European bow the following year in the memorable 34-29 loss to Clermont Auvergne at Stade Marcel Michelin.

To date, he has played 59 times for the Ospreys, and he made his senior international debut last summer, against Samoa. 

Dan Griffiths, Rugby General Manager, Ospreys Rugby, welcomed the news, saying: 

“Rory is someone who has already played a lot of rugby at a young age, showing he has the potential to establish himself at a regional and national level, so this is good news.

“The challenge for him now is to take his game to the next level, to become a key member of the pack, stepping out of the shadows and challenging the world class players we have in the second row by performing to a consistently high standard day in, day out.”