Ospreys Rugby are delighted to announce that Dan Baker has signed a new contract with his home region that sees him staying at the Liberty Stadium until the summer of 2019.
The ball carrying number eight follows fellow back rower, Justin Tipuric, in committing his future to the Ospreys, the open side signing a long-term deal last week.
A firm favourite with Ospreys supporters due to his all-action style, 24-year old Baker is currently with the national squad hoping to add to the three Wales caps he has gained since making his international debut in a win against Japan in June 2013.
Speaking after signing his new contract, Baker said:
“I’m really happy to have signed this contract. I’ve been here all of my career, coming through the academy to play senior rugby for the Ospreys and I can’t imagine playing anywhere else.
“I’ve got a great opportunity now and it’s up to me to make the most of it and keep improving as a player. If I can do that over the next few years then I should get plenty of game time and then, hopefully, I can help the team be successful.”
Steve Tandy, Ospreys Head Coach, added:
“Dan is an exciting young talent who is proud to be an Osprey, and is someone with a really bright future ahead of him.
“He’s a strong runner, a powerful ball carrier who gives a team some real go-forward, but his game isn’t just about brute strength. His footwork is excellent and he has good skill levels to go with it, he can be a real danger, and it’s easy to see why supporters enjoy watching him in action.
“The back row is a real position of strength for us, with options at six, seven and eight so, like the rest of them, he knows that if he is going to nail down a starting spot then he has to be reaching a level of consistency week in, week out, of international standard. That’s the challenge for him over the duration of this contract.
“It’s great news for us that we’ve secured Dan’s future as he is the kind of player who offers something different. There’s a lot more to come from Dan and we’re looking forward to helping him continue his development in an Ospreys shirt.”
Baker came through the regional development pathway, with Ystradgynlais, his home club, from where he entered the Ospreys age-grade system, going on to play almost 50 times for Swansea.
His regional debut came in January 2013, against the Dragons in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, with his first start coming a year later at the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field against Sale in the same competition. He was awarded his Ospreys cap earlier this year following his 50th regional appearance, which came in the Champions Cup tie versus Exeter Chiefs in January. To date, he has made 64 appearances for the Ospreys with 13 tries to his name.
A Wales age-grade cap, Baker featured in the 9-6 win over New Zealand U20 in the 2012 Junior World Championships as the Welsh youngsters progressed to the semi-final, his first senior cap coming a year later.
In addition to Baker and Tipuric signing new deals with the Ospreys, Dan Lydiate has also signed a new National Dual Contract with the WRU and the region.