Ospreys have announced the signing of Welsh international centre Cory Allen, who will join the region from Cardiff Blues ahead of 2017/18.
The Cardiff born centre, who celebrated his 24th birthday earlier this month, has signed a two-year deal with the region and will link up with his new team-mates at Llandarcy Academy of Sport for the first time this summer.
Allen joins the Ospreys from Cardiff Blues, where he came through the ranks to make his debut as an 18-year-old in an LV= Cup tie against Newcastle in 2011.
To date he has four full Wales caps, his last coming at the 2015 Rugby World Cup when he scored a hat trick, his first tries in senior international rugby, in a 54-9 win over Uruguay. He has played 56 times for the Blues, scoring 12 tries.
“Cory is someone I’ve always admired as a player,” said head coach Steve Tandy.
“I like the way he plays the game, he’s physical and his post-contact work is excellent, how he can offload the ball. I think he can thrive in our environment and really kick-on with his career.
“We’ve got some variety in the centre position, and we are starting to build some real strength in depth in that position, but Cory will offer something different to our other options.”
With Kieron Fonotia arriving at the Liberty Stadium earlier this season and James Hook already confirmed as an addition to the squad for next year, along with exciting young Welsh talent coming through the ranks including Joe Thomas and Owen Watkin (both 20) and Kieran Williams (19), Tandy believes that the increased competition for places is clear to see.
“Along with Hooky, also arriving in the summer, we have two fresh options who will really increase competition in the squad,” he continued.
“It’s going to be a really positive to have Cory around, he’s got some real qualities that will help us develop our game, while we will be good for him.
“It’s a fresh start for Cory. Our track record for developing players speaks for itself, not just home grown youth but under the radar players coming to us from other regions, people like Dan Evans and Sam Parry who have really grown in our environment, and this has undoubtedly played a part in his decision to join us.
“We see an exciting young talent that has already been recognised at international level, with huge potential, and he sees that we can help him to kick on to another level. He’s still a young man with the best part of his career still to come. He’s excited about the opportunity. He understands there’s a lot of hard work required from him as well, but this is a move which is good for both parties.”