The Ospreys are delighted to confirm that young tight-head Joe Rees has signed his first ever professional contract.
The 20-year old from Mumbles has put pen to paper on a three year contract, a reward for the hard work and effort shown as part of the Ospreys Elite Youth Development Programme over the last two years.
Having played his early rugby at his local club, Mumbles RFC, Joe was educated at Filton College in Bristol before gaining senior rugby experience at Tonmawr, helping the Pitmen to promotion in 2009/10 and then featuring regularly during their first ever season in the Premiership.
A former back-rower who has good technical ability in the scrum, he represented Wales at the 2010 Junior World Championship in Argentina. He featured on the bench for the Ospreys on a number of occasions during the 2010/11 season, making his regional debut at the Brewery Field as a second half replacement in the LV= Cup win over Leicester Tigers, adding one more appearance, in the same competition and at the same venue, against Wasps in February.
After signing his first-ever professional contract with the Ospreys, Rees said that he’s looking forward to continuing his development over the next three years.
“It’s great news for me” he explained.
“I couldn’t be at a better place to develop, it’s my home region and I’m really happy to have signed a contract.
“I’ve had a little taste of it, I’ve been on the bench and got on a couple of times. It’s been tough when I’ve been on the field, I’ve seen how high the standard is, but I’ve really enjoyed it. Just being involved with the senior squad is brilliant and hopefully this year with the World Cup, and a lot of our props likely to be away, I’ll get another chance. That’s what I’m aiming for.
“It’s a brilliant place to be, every day I’m learning something new. There are so many people to learn from. One day I could be working with Adam and Duncan, the next day it could be with Mefin, Huw Bennett or Richard Hibbard in scrummaging.
“The coaches want me to concentrate on my weight and my fitness, which has been something I’ve worked hard on. They want me to carry on with that over the summer, combined with my work around the park. If I can do that, and continue improving my scrummaging then hopefully I’ll get another chance.”
Forwards Coach Jonathan Humphreys added:
“We are a region that develops young players and nowhere is that more apparent than in the front row. Joe is an outstanding prospect who has already gained some exposure to the professional game and we believe that he has the potential to follow in the footsteps of some of the senior props at the Ospreys.
“There is a real shortage of tight-heads in Wales, so it says a lot about the way we develop players at the Ospreys that having supplied two tight-heads to the senior national set-up this year we are able to produce another young prospect like Joe Rees, who we feel can develop even further and make a real impact, as well as Daniel Suter, the current Wales U18 tight head, who was recognised at the Ospreys end-of-season awards night recently.
“That can only be a positive for Welsh rugby.”