The Ospreys have announced that back-row Tyler Ardron has signed a new three-year contract with the region.
The 23-year old from Ontario, who is Canada’s Test captain, has agreed to extend his stay at the Liberty Stadium until summer 2017 after making a big impression in his first season as a professional following his move to South Wales last year.
Named Canadian Player of the Year in 2013, he was appointed national captain for the first time this summer, ahead of the June internationals against Japan, Scotland and USA. He is the 17th player to recommit to the region in 2014.
Speaking after signing his new contract, Ardron said he believes that the Ospreys are set to enjoy a successful time.
“I’m very excited about the future after signing the new deal” he told the Ospreys’ official website.
“Work started right after the Connacht game at the end of last season to prepare for this year and there are a lot of exciting new things being brought on board that are going to make this team really special.
“The support, not only from the players and staff, but also from the community has been great since my initial arrival, so I am really exciting to be staying on.
“The amount of things I have learnt both on and off the field have helped me to develop as a person as well as a rugby player.
“In terms of my first year as a professional rugby player, being an Osprey has opened my eyes to the high levels of professionalism that goes into every day life when you are preparing to play 20 plus games a year, the commitment it takes and the work that needs to be done every day in order to perform week in and week out.
“As I said, we have already started with some new ideas that I am confident will make us a better team.”
A blindside capable of playing at number eight
Previously a regular on the IRB Sevens circuit, he made his full international debut on the same day as his fellow Osprey Jeff Hassler in a 28-25 win over USA in June 2012 and now has 16 caps for Canada.
He has featured off the bench in all of the opening three games of the new PRO12 season, scoring his second Ospreys try in Sunday’s win over Edinburgh.
Andrew Millward, Rugby General Manager at the Ospreys, added: “We knew when we first signed Tyler that we had a fantastic prospect and a real athlete on our hands, and he is someone who has fitted really well into our environment over the last year.
“He’s got an outstanding work ethic, on and off the field, and is a natural leader despite still being so young which is something that the rest of the squad have really responded to. That’s been recognised by his national coaches handing him the Canada captaincy which is a fantastic honour.
“He’s achieved a lot since first arriving at the Ospreys and he’s dealt well with the step-up to full-time professional rugby with the increased intensity and demands compared to what he was used to. With that first year under his belt he is going to get better and better, and we see him playing a huge part in our future success so this is extremely positive news.
“We have invested heavily into our development pathway with a 600 per cent increase in spending to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the region, but we have worked hard to ensure that the local talent is supplemented with individuals who possess the right characteristics to help improve the organisation and drive it forwards.
Tyler certainly fits that bill as someone who expects the highest standards off others at all times, while constantly striving to improve himself on and off the field.
“With 17 players now secured on new deals since the start of the year you can see the hard work we have been doing behind the scenes to build a squad that has a very bright future ahead.
“The next two or three seasons promise to be a very exciting time for the Ospreys as this group matures and gains more experience, and it’s important that the supporters are fully behind the region on this journey.”