Ospreys forward Andy Lloyd has been appointed to team administrator for the Magners League Champions.
The 29-year-old has made 65 League appearances for the Welsh region since moving to South Wales from Bath in 2003/4 and will take up the role with immediate effect, whilst still making himself available for selection until the end of the season.
At the end of this campaign, Lloyd will hang up his playing boots to fully concentrate on his new role as part of the rugby management team.
The lock or back-row will be responsible for rugby admin and match-day logistics, as well as providing the appropriate support where needed to both the management and playing teams, including areas of player welfare.
Lloyd will replace current incumbent Dani Delamere, who will now make a long awaited move into an extended commercial role involving marketing and event management.
Capable of playing at lock or in the back-row, Lloyd made his Ospreys debut in a Heineken Cup tie against Leeds in January 2004, and has scored three tries for the region. He has one Wales cap, gained in 2001, a try-scoring debut in a 64-10 win over Japan in Osaka.
"Years of injuries seem to have taken their toll on me and my body is starting to tell me that it's about time I looked at alternatives,” said Lloyd.
I've been looking at things outside of rugby, what my next step may be, and this opportunity came up. It's a perfect match for me, it enables me to stay in this environment, which is one that I love, but it's in a different area, doing something that will allow me to use different skills and to develop as a person.
"I'm from the region and I've been fortunate enough to represent the Ospreys since the very first season, so I take great pride in continuing to be part of the set-up here. I'm still going to provide cover between now and the end of the season and I'll be working hard to stay in shape, but I will be hanging my boots up come May.
"I'll be thirty by the end of the season and I've had 12 years as a professional rugby player. I've had my fair share of injuries and my body is telling me that now is the right time to take up a new challenge, and I'm excited about the future in this role. Since the summer it's been a tough old slog for me, but this new challenge has certainly given me fresh impetus and I'm really looking forward to doing what I can off the field to help continue moving the Ospreys forward."
"We have been looking for someone to take on this role since the summer, and we feel that Andy has the right characteristics to really become a valued member of the rugby management team. His passion for the Ospreys and his intelligence is a good combination and I'm sure that he will continue to prove just as influential off the field in his new role as he has been over the last seven years as a player."