The Ospreys have raided their closest rivals the Scarlets once again and signed another quality young prospect in the form of centre Osian Knott.
Confirmation of Knott’s signing comes just one month after the Liberty Stadium outfit signed one of Welsh rugby’s hottest prospects in Jac Morgan from the Scarlets.
Both Knott and Morgan are from Carmarthen and came through the Scarlets’ academy system but will now leave to join the Ospreys this summer.
Though Morgan is further along in his development, having enjoyed regular first team rugby this season, Knott’s departure will still leave a bitter taste.
He has not yet made a first team appearance at Parc y Scarlets in a competitive match, having spent time on the sidelines with injury this season. But he impressed at age-grade level, scoring two tries for Wales under-20s in a Six Nations match against Ireland last year.
Described as a ‘rangy, strong-tackling centre’, Knott also impressed in development matches for the region in 2019 and was among a crop of young players giving head coach Glenn Delaney plenty to be optimistic about.
But his move to the Ospreys has now been confirmed, where he has signed a two-year deal and will work alongside Wales centres Owen Watkin and Scott Williams.
“The Ospreys are a fantastic club, they have lots of quality players and someone like centre Owen Watkin is someone I know I can learn from,” said Knott.
“Toby [Booth, head coach] explained what the Ospreys want to be and want to achieve, and it’s something I really want to be a part of and, hopefully, can add to.
“I have set myself some goals and I believe the Ospreys is the best place where I can achieve them. Toby has shown he has faith in youngsters but there is some real quality at centre and it’s going to be really good for me because it will push my standards to be higher.
“I am not expecting it to be easy at the Ospreys, nothing in life is easy, and hopefully it will push me to be a better player, which is what I want.
“For a young player to be in the same environment with role models, like Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric, is just exciting, and to be able to learn of them is something any young player would want to do.”
On the signing, Ospreys boss Booth added: “Osian is a Wales under-20s international and it is part of the Ospreys strategy to recruit young players to increase the depth and quality of our squad.
“He has played centre and wing, so he gives us some versatility, and he has a real physical presence. That is an attribute we are looking for.”
Scarlets general manager of rugby Jon Daniels said: “Osian is one a number of young players who have come through our Academy pathway and gone on to represent Wales at age-grade level.
“We have a lot of competition for places in our back division and unfortunately, Osian hasn’t had much senior rugby for the Scarlets having had to come back from a significant knee injury. We all wish him well in the next chapter of his professional career.”