The Ospreys have secured the services of two of the brightest young talents in Wales after signing RGC 1404 teenagers Morgan and Tom Williams on development contracts.
18-year old Morgan, a full-back, and namesake Tom, a versatile 17-year old who can play across the back line, have linked up with the region for pre-season after moving south to continue their education and rugby development.
The signing of the Wales U18 pair follows makes it three RGC youngsters at Llandarcy following on from Wales U20 blind side Olly Cracknell’s move, announced earlier this month.
It hasn’t been just one-way traffic between north and south though, as the relationship between the two organisations has also seen RGC benefiting from the services of young Ospreys Adam Williams and Shaun O’Rourke on loan agreements.
Morgan hails originally from Y Felinheli beside the Menai Strait. He played his early rugby with Caernarfon RFC before entering the RGC academy at U16 level. For the last two years he has studied at Coleg Llandrillo, representing them in the College League.
Tom, who celebrates his 18th birthday later this month, is from Montgomery in Mid Wales. Having started off at Newtown RFC, he too moved to the RGC academy two years ago.
According to Andy Lloyd, Recruitment and Retention Manager, the signing of two highly rated age-grade caps was a significant coup for the region and evidence of the importance placed on holistic development at both the Ospreys and RGC:
“Morgan and Tom are two young men who have made a huge impression with the national age-grade set-up and who were highly sought after so it is fantastic news for the Ospreys that they see their futures within our development pathway.
“We have an excellent relationship with RGC, who share our views on ensuring a holistic approach to the development of young talent, and this has seen both organisations benefiting from an exchange of players. Part of the decision making process for Morgan and Tom was our close links with Swansea University where they will study for the next three years. In addition, Adam Williams, who signed an Ospreys development contract last year has been placed with RGC while studying at Bangor Univeristy, playing alongside Shaun O’Rourke who spent the year in north Wales to gain personal experience living away from home and standing on his own two feet.
“It’s great to have this two-way relationship that affords young players to gain valuable experiences in a supportive environment that suits their own personal circumstances.”
Rupert Moon, General Manager, RGC, added:
“This is a great opportunity for Morgan and Tom to head south and get a fantastic experience at an environment which is geared to development. Being able to study at Swansea University and be part of the Ospreys pathway will give them every chance of achieving their full potential, on and off the pitch.
“With the relationship we have as a club with the Ospreys, and all the regions, there is a pathway working in both directions that can be tailored as required using our high quality coaches and International standard facilities at Eirias in Colwyn Bay . We have Adam in our squad while he studies at Bangor, and Shaun has really benefited from being with us last season, and we look forward to assisting the Ospreys and Welsh rugby in providing future opportunities for their players where appropriate."
Looking at what brought the pair to the Ospreys attention, Lloyd revealed that they have been on the regional radar for quite some time:
“I think this move shows how serious we are about recruitment for the long term, not just the here and now. We don’t leave any stone unturned to build a robust succession plan for the future. Both Tom and Morgan have shown that they have the right attributes to make an impression with the Ospreys.
“Tom has some really devastating open play attributes, a good skill set and a degree of toughness about him, he’s got a good physical stature. He ticks a lot of boxes for us and the way we see our back line developing he could be one for the future in a number of positions, particularly in the wider channels.
“Morgan is a player we’ve been watching very closely at college level and then international age grade. Thanks to the relationship we have with RGC we’ve been able to really get to know him over the last year. Again, he’s another physical athlete with real aspirations who could have a very bright future ahead of him as an Osprey if he works hard on and off the field.”
Pictured above are Morgan Williams (left) and Tom Williams (right) at Llandarcy Academy of Sport