Former Wales centre Matthew Watkins will take his first steps on the coaching ladder at the Ospreys after being appointed to work with the Eyasses at the region's Llandarcy HQ.
Working underneath Regional Performance Development Manager Andrew Millward, he will help coach the ‘C’ group, a selection of carefully selected young players aged 16 to 18 who attend the Ospreys Llandarcy Academy of Sport HQ between 7 and 9am daily for specific rugby and fitness work ahead of their normal college day, with extended hours during holiday periods.
33-year old Watkins clocked up over 250 first class club and regional appearances during his career, representing Newport and Llanelli in the pre-regional era, before playing for the Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons post-2003 with a 12-month stint at Gloucester sandwiched in between. He won 18 Wales caps, his first coming against Italy in the 2003 Six Nations, his last three years later on the 2006 Argentina tour. Having finished playing 12 months ago, Watkins spent several months at Llandarcy last season shadowing the Ospreys coaches for experience.
Andrew Hore, Chief Operations Officer at the Ospreys, said:
“This is a great opportunity for Matthew, who is young and ambitious, to earn his coaching stripes. He enjoyed a long and successful career, representing his country, but having finished playing is now looking to carve a new reputation for himself.
“He spent time around our environment last season and understands our culture and the development from within ethos, and this is his chance to develop personally as a coach while helping some of the youngsters on our pathway towards their goal of becoming a fully fledged Osprey over the coming seasons.”