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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007, 12:39 GMT
Ospreys in shock Hore appointment
Andrew Hore
New Zealander Hore was front-runner for the Wales EDP post
The Ospreys have appointed former Wales fitness coach Andrew Hore as their elite performance director.

New Zealander Hore seemed to be on the verge of taking up the same post with the Wales national team in October.

But that apparently cooled last month when the Welsh Rugby Union announced they now had a three-man shortlist.

Ospreys managing director Mike Cuddy said the appointment is "an enormous statement of intent" of achieving success for the region.

Hore will take up his three-and-a-half year post in February after agreeing to step down as player development manager for the New Zealand RFU.

606: DEBATE

He will be working closely with director of rugby Kevin Hopkins, head coach Lyn Jones and his coaching team, but will not be involved with on-the field coaching.

"The Ospreys are one of the most forward thinking and ambitious outfits in the northern hemisphere game and the opportunity to help them achieve their long term aims was too good to turn down," said Hore.

"It was a difficult decision to step down from my role with the NZ RFU but the challenge presented to me by the Ospreys is as exciting a challenge as there is in world rugby.

"I know the area and many of the personnel at the region very well from my previous stint in Wales and that's certainly helped with my decision."

Hore has worked in Wales before - having previously held the post of fitness coach at the WRU between 2002 and 2005 - working alongside coaches Steve Hansen, Scott Johnson and Mike Ruddock.

In Andrew, we have one of the most respected young rugby brains in the world

Ospreys managing director Mike Cuddy

Cuddy added: "I think that the appointment of an individual of such stature throughout the world of rugby is an enormous statement of intent from the Ospreys.

"It is a clear demonstration of our intention to ensure the Ospreys a place at the top table of European rugby, not just today but in the long term.

"The Ospreys have now been operating for four-and-a-half years, and over this time we have undoubtedly gone from strength to strength, but we felt that the time was right to look to strengthen the rugby side of our business even further.

"In Andrew, we have one of the most respected young rugby brains in the world, and he comes with a proven track record.

"He is right at the cutting edge of rugby thinking and will bring to the table a different outlook on how to do things with his experience of the domestic game in New Zealand and the international game, and this knowledge is something that we don't have at the moment.

"We want to be considered one of the top five teams in Europe, to be mentioned alongside the likes of Wasps, Leicester, Toulouse and Stade Francais when people talk about potential European Cup winners."

The WRU has welcomed Hore's appointment at the Ospreys, describing it as a "bold step" which will "enrich the player talent base across Welsh rugby".

"We spoke at length with Andrew about the possibility of him joining the WRU but it didn't work out, for all the right reasons," said WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis.

"That's why we are so delighted he is still coming to Wales to work with one of our finest regions."



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