Alun Wyn Jones may well be stealing the headlines this Friday evening as he makes his 200th appearance in an Ospreys shirt, but the Welsh side’s clash with Leinster is set to be a double celebration.
Canadian Jeff Hassler is also making his 50th appearance, having been at the Ospreys for a little over three years.
His landmark cap will come in a hostile environment on Friday evening as the Ospreys travel to the RDS Arena, but with maximum points from their three Guinness PRO12 clashes so far, Hassler will feel confident of making it a night to remember.
After an injury-hit season last year, the 25-year-old has hit the ground running this term with two tries so far, and he wants to at least double his appearance tally for the Ospreys.
“It’s a proud moment in my career,” said Hassler. “For a Canadian to come in and be able to stick around in an environment like this long enough to get to 50 appearances, it’s pretty special for me.
“I’m fortunate to make my 50th appearance on the same day that an Ospreys legend, Alun Wyn, will make his 200th, so that’s an honour for me, and it’s just a game after Tyler last weekend, so the landmarks are coming thick and fast in the group.
“I’ve got at least another two years with the Ospreys now, somewhere that I’ve really enjoyed being, and, after last season, my focus now has to be on staying fit and, hopefully, getting the next 50 games under my belt.”
Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy added: “When you think of the development in Jeff since he arrived here, he has established himself as not only a true Osprey, but as one of the best wingers in the Guinness PRO12. That’s testament to him and his desire to be a successful rugby player.
“He adds to the environment on and off the field. He’s a great character, extremely diligent in everything he does, and he brings something different to the table.
“The way he represents the Ospreys is second to none. He puts his body on the line every time he takes to the field.
“He had a tough year last year but he never wavered in his commitment to the cause and to get to 50 games is a huge achievement for him.”
Guinness PRO12 Final 2017 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 adults and €5 child, and be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie. For further information visit http://www.pro12rugby.com/final