0 Comments

The Ospreys have completed a deal to sign talented fly-half Jack Walsh from Exeter Chiefs.

America-born, the 22-year-old has penned a two-year contract with the Swansea.com Stadium team and will arrive in the summer. A playmaker who has represented Australia at Sevens and featured for their U18s team, Walsh can play at full-back as well as No. 10 and is a graduate of the New South Wales Waratahs Academy. He played for Manly Marlins before heading overseas in 2020.

He has since made eight appearances for Exeter, whose director of rugby Rob Baxter has said of him: “You watch him and you can see there is something there about him. There’s a bit of spark, something special.” Baxter had confirmed back in March that Walsh was on his way to Wales but his destination was still to be confirmed at that point.

Read more: WRU fire back at stinging accusation

The 6ft, 13st 8lb back joins a band of young players, including Ethan Roots, Jack Regan and Will Hickey, from outside the Ospreys player pathway programme to join the set-up headed by Toby Booth.

Walsh said: “I made contact with Toby and it was just the way he talked about the plans for the Ospreys, the team and the culture he was driving. It was somewhere I wanted to play rugby.

“He talked about the vision for the whole organisation, what Swansea was like as a city and how rugby is in Wales, and it’s just an exciting challenge.”

Before signing, Walsh touched base with the cluster of former Exeter players who are at the Welsh region. “I talked to Tom Francis, Elvis Taione and Alex Cuthbert about the Ospreys and they just echoed what Toby said around the team, the culture and how much they were enjoying it,” he said.

“When you talk to experienced guys like that, who know what makes a successful club, that was a big draw for me. I am also very aware of how passionate Welsh rugby fans are and how loyal the Ospreys supporters are. I know the Ospreys are a proud club and the opportunity to be around players like Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and George North, and to learn from world-class players like them is what every young player wants to do.”

Booth is clearly pleased with the region’s new acquisition, believing Walsh is capable of proving a hit at the Ospreys, saying: “Jack is a young and exciting prospect and is primarily a fly-half but has shown he is a multi-position player.

“He comes from a rugby league background in Australia and plays at the line and is not afraid to challenge tough defences. These are certainly attributes we will need in the future.”

Author

gtsemil@gmail.com