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Page last updated at 09:08 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 10:08 UK

Veteran hooker Mefin Davies signs for Ospreys

Mefin Davies
Hooker Mefin Davies has won 39 international caps for Wales

Former Wales international hooker Mefin Davies has signed for the Ospreys from Leicester Tigers on a two-year deal.

The 37-year-old will rejoin the Liberty Stadium region - that he played six times during the 2004/05 season - at the end of the current campaign.

Davies joins an Ospreys squad blessed with quality hookers as Huw Bennett and Richie Hibbard are Welsh internationals while Ed Shervington is third choice.

Davies will also help mentor and develop the Ospreys' front row players.

The former Neath and the Celtic Warriors forward - who won the last of his 39 Wales caps in their 31-0 defeat in Australia in 2007 - has impressed in his 20 games for Guinness Premiership leaders Leicester this season.

The Ospreys previously overlooked Davies, despite playing a handful of games for the Swansea-based region, when he became a free agent when the Celtic Warriors were closed down in 2004.

The 2005 Welsh Grand Slam winner spent two seasons at Gloucester when he was not wanted by a home region before moving to the Tigers in 2007, where he helped Leicester win the 2009 Guinness Premiership title.

Now the renowned scrummager has joined the Ospreys, not just as a back-up hooker but as the first step in his coaching career.

Davies' brief is to "assist in the development of front-row colleagues and spend time away from the pitch working with up and coming Ospreys."

"I'm coming home to Wales and I'm really looking forward to it," said Davies.

"It's a great opportunity that has come at the right time for me. It's a good move for me rugby-wise, and personally it makes sense.

"All my best work has been done over the years when I've been working with young guys who are keen to learn and I've no doubt that there will be plenty of opportunities for me to help with player development while I'm here.

"It's great to work with someone with real potential and to help them develop, to realise that potential.

"There are some good young front row players coming through at the Ospreys that I'm looking forward to working with.

Mefin is a very good team man, he is selfless in the team environment and is an ideal role model on and off the pitch

Ospreys elite performance director Andrew Hore

"Over the years I've been fortunate to work with with, and learn from, some top players and coaches and I've been able to build up quite a bit of experience and knowledge.

"If I can use that now to help benefit Welsh rugby then that's what I'll do."

Ospreys elite performance director Andrew Hore explained the Davies' off-the-pitch inspiration will be just as important as his on-the-field guidance.

"Mefin is still performing at the highest level week-in, week-out and will be an asset to the Ospreys on the pitch," he said.

"More importantly though, as a region that believes strongly in the development of Welsh talent, we see the biggest advantage of him being here is that he is coming to assist in the development of others.

"We see Mefin as having some exceptional strengths that will assist in the long-term development of some of the young front row players that we have here.

"He is extremely well known and highly regarded in professional rugby circles for the passion he has for the set-piece and for his ability to bring out the best in those around him.

"Mefin is also a very good team man, he is selfless in the team environment and is an ideal role model on and off the pitch, not only for our aspiring young players, but also for some of the more established players in the group."



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Australia 31-0 Wales
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Davies joins Neath
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