The Ospreys are delighted to confirm that Filo Tiatia has become the latest player at the region to sign a new contract.
The veteran back-rower, who would have been out of contract in the summer, has penned a new 12-month deal to stay at the Liberty Stadium. The 36-year old former All-Black arrived in southwest Wales in the summer of 2006 after spending four years playing for Japanese side Toyota Verblitz. Capped twice for New Zealand in 2000, Tiatia has been a huge success for the Ospreys, on and off the pitch, making 40 appearances and scoring four tries since making his debut against Edinburgh at the Liberty Stadium in the first game of the 2006-07 season. His inspirational form on the pitch this season has been matched by his influence off the field, where his leadership and communication skills have seen him play a major role in the development of a number of younger Ospreys. Speaking after signing his new contract, Filo Tiatia said: "I'm really happy to sign up for another year and I'm looking forward to hopefully being part of something special over the next few months and beyond that into next season. When I first signed for the Ospreys two years ago I knew that I would be finishing my rugby playing days in the UK, and I'm pleased that I'll be doing it here. Swansea is such a great place to live, it's very similar to where I grew up in Wellington, New Zealand, with lots of great beaches, plenty of places to go and with really friendly people, so I couldn't be happier right now. My family are settled and it makes sense to stay here. I'm aware that age is a factor for me now, but I'll keep playing until my body says no and my brain says I've had enough. I'm realistic enough to know though that I can't go on forever and that I have to look to the future, which is why I've been working on developing my coaching skills while I've been here. I've been fortunate enough to get valuable experience working with Swansea RFC as defence coach last season, and I've also helped in a small capacity with the Ospreys U20 side this season as forwards coach while trying to get as many qualifications as I can. I can't think of a better place to be at the moment, the Ospreys are continuing to grow and have a really positive future with an excellent squad and some fantastic youngsters coming through, putting pressure on the guys in possession of the shirt. On top of that, I'm fortunate to be able to learn the coaching trade from some of the best in Wales, from Lyn Jones, Sean Holley and Jon Humphreys, as well as the coaches in the Academy, and all of them are helping me develop as a coach." Lyn Jones, Ospreys Head Coach, said: "This is excellent news for everybody at the Ospreys. Filo is an outstanding professional who brings so much to the squad, and I'm pleased that he will be around for another year. He has vast experience, and has enjoyed something of an Indian summer this season putting in some outstanding performances, but it is off the pitch where we see the real benefit of what he has to offer. He is an influential personality who possesses great leadership ability. Filo is very much a mentor to the youngsters in the squad, a positive influence always who always has time to offer advice and guidance where it is needed. I know that his long-term ambition is to move into coaching and he has all the attributes to be a top quality coach, but in the meantime the region can only benefit from his continued presence in the camp."