Samoan international signs for Ospreys

Guinness PRO12 Editor

24 Mar 2011


News, Ospreys

The Ospreys are delighted to confirm that Samoan international back-rower George Stowers has signed a two-year contract with the region.

A powerful runner at 1.88m tall and weighing 112kg, he is renowned for his ferocity in the tackle and contact area, as well as being a skilful ball handler. Equally effective at number eight or blindside flanker, he will join the Ospreys next season after two years in the Aviva Premiership with London Irish.

Having moved to Auckland as a teenager, Apia born Stowers played for Pukekohe RFC before progressing to Counties Manukau in the NPC, and then into the Waikato Chiefs Super 12 squad for the 2000 season. Two years later he moved to Japan to play for the Kobe club, where he stayed for seven years until moving to the Madejski Stadium to play for Irish in 2009. To date, he has made 40 appearances for the Exiles, scoring six tries. Two of his 23 appearances this season came against the Ospreys in the Heineken Cup.

Stowers’ international debut came against Ireland at Lansdowne Road in November 2001, but he had to wait seven years for his next cap, which came in a Pacific Nations Cup match against Fiji in June 2008. Since then he has been a regular in the Samoa starting XV, earning 20 caps to date, with three tries to his credit. He has captained his country on seven occasions, including the narrow 17-13 loss to Wales at the Millennium Stadium in 2009.

Speaking after signing for the Ospreys, Stowers commented:
“I’m excited about signing for the Ospreys and what looks like an exciting challenge ahead. I’ve spoken at length to the coaches about their vision for the team, had a good look around the first class facilities there, and I’m really looking forward to being able to play a part in what they are trying to achieve.

“I’ve played against the Ospreys twice this season so I know a bit about the squad there, and from what I’ve seen of them over the last few months in the LV= Cup and the Magners League, there’s strength in depth with some really good youngsters coming through that I can help develop.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to be part of a forward thinking and ambitious set-up, and it’s an exciting move for me, personally and professionally, that will allow me to experience rugby in new environments.”

Elite Performance Director, Andrew Hore, said:
“George will bring a real physical presence to our back-row, and as we experienced ourselves in the two games against London Irish in the Heineken Cup, he provides a real nuisance value, making life incredibly difficult for the opposition with his high work-rate.

“He is also a proven leader with experience of captaincy at international level, and we’ve no doubt that he will prove to be a real asset to the Ospreys over the next two years. As a player who has made a huge impact in England during the last two seasons, we are extremely pleased to have secured his services and we look forward to welcoming him to Ospreylia.”