Ospreys centre Jonathan Spratt has flown to New Zealand, where he will play for Taranaki over the next five months. The 22 year old is set to feature in the Air New Zealand Cup after agreeing to the switch which has been arranged by Ospreys EPD...
Ospreys centre Jonathan Spratt has flown to New Zealand, where he will play for Taranaki over the next five months.
The 22 year old is set to feature in the Air New Zealand Cup after agreeing to the switch which has been arranged by Ospreys Elite Performance Director, with a view to furthering his rugby education and assisting his long-term development.
Neath product Spratt, who signed a three-year deal with the region last summer, has made 10 appearances in an Ospreys shirt to date, nine of which have come in 2008. Whilst all his outings so far have been at centre, coaches at the region have high hopes for him developing as a full-back.Speaking about the opportunity for the player to experience life in New Zealand, Andrew Hore said: "This is something that we'll be looking to do for a number of our young players coming through, we are looking to forge links not just in New Zealand but around the rugby playing world as there are fantastic benefits to be gained for the player, the region and the club he goes to. To send a youngster out of his comfort zone to experience a new way of life and new cultures on and off the rugby pitch can only accelerate their development.
"In the case of Jonathan going to Taranaki, I'd spoken to their CEO Mark Robinson before I'd even arrived back in Wales to take up the post about potentially linking up to assist with the development of some of our young talent. They came back to me recently looking for someone who could play centre and full-back, so it just seemed a perfect opportunity for Jonathan. He's going to be involved in their Air New Zealand Cup campaign, which is an excellent competition and will be a great experience for him. Depending on how well they do in the tournament, he may be out there until October, when we will welcome him back into the Ospreys fold all the better for his experiences."