Ospreys Rugby are delighted to announce James King as the latest player to extend his time with the region, signing a new three-year deal to stay at the Liberty stadium until the end of the 2020/21 season.
The 27-year old, who has worn four, five, six, seven and eight for the Ospreys, has been with the region for 10 years, since leaving the family home in Mold, North Wales, to join the region’s development pathway.
With 170 appearances for the Ospreys (7 tries), he is ninth in the all time list for the region, with only Paul James, Alun Wyn Jones and Dan Biggar having played more times among his current team-mates.
“I’m delighted to commit my long term future to the Ospreys” said King.
“I’ve been here 10 years now and this is my home away from home now. It seems like a lifetime ago that I came down straight from school but I’m just really happy to commit my future here.
“Even though you’d say I’m a senior player I’m still young, I’m only 27, and that’s not old in the context of a rugby player so although there’s plenty of youth coming through that are always pushing hard for your position, my aim for the next few years has to be to stay fit and play as often as I can.”
He featured regularly for Aberavon in the Welsh Premiership as a youngster, making 48 appearances for the Wizards, with his regional debut coming as a replacement in a 9-all draw with Glasgow at the Liberty Stadium in October 2009 while still a teenager. His 100th appearance came against the Scarlets in January 2015 as he clocked up over 20 games for the Ospreys in six consecutive seasons.
Twice a winner of Coaches’ Player of the Year at the Ospreys his talents were recognised by Wales when he won his first cap on the 2013 tour to Japan and he has been a squad regular with the national set-up ever since, the last of his 11 caps coming in last year’s Six Nations.
Dan Griffiths, Rugby General Manager at the Ospreys, welcomed the news, saying:
“The two words that come to mind with James are consistency and versatility. He’s the kind of player that every team needs, at the heart of everything, doing the unseen work that allows other players to shine. Whatever number he has on his back, you know that he brings dynamism and work rate and will always deliver a high standard of performance.
“This level of consistency and willingness to put the needs of the team first have made him a valuable asset, and we are delighted to have secured James as an Osprey until 2021.”
Adam Beard, Olly Cracknell, Sam Parry and Owen Watkin have already signed new deals ahead of next season, with the Ospreys also securing highly rated youngsters Will Jones and Reuben Morgan-Williams on their first professional contracts following their rapid progress in the senior environment this season.
Wales stars Aled Davies and Scott Williams, currently on Six Nations duty, have also signed from the Scarlets and will link up with the Ospreys at Llandarcy this summer.