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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July, 2003, 10:36 GMT 11:36 UK
Ospreys set to soar
Shane Williams and Scott Gibbs
Shane Williams and Scott Gibbs model the new Ospreys kit
Neath-Swansea Ospreys has been confirmed as the name of Wales' latest regional rugby team at the official launch of the side from their new training base in Llandarcy.

The team will play in a mainly black strip, with a white collar and stripes on the arms.

A Maltese Cross, Neath's old emblem, will be the badge of the new side, with an Osprey superimposed on the symbol to represent Swansea.

The west Glamorgan team have also announced that former Wales and Swansea hooker Garin Jenkins will be the academy director for the region.

Wales wing Shane Williams will be considered as both threequarter and scrum-half in the coming season, but there was no place in the squad for Wales A lock Steve Martin. He has been linked with a move to France.

Roger Blyth, the joint chief executive of the new side, was pleased with the co-operation shown between Neath and Swansea.

The osprey is a magnificent bird of prey and a predator
Ospreys coach Lyn Jones
"It's been a lot of hard work but we've tried to be positive from the outset," he told BBC Wales Sport.

"There's a long way to go, but we've accomplished a lot."

Coach Lyn Jones was pleased with the symbol adopted by the team.

"The osprey is a magnificent bird of prey and a predator, an ideal emblem for a forward-thinking rugby team," he said.

Ospreys badge
The new team's badge
"It succeeds by a combination of style, skill and aggression, which reflects the way we want to play rugby."

The osprey, which was formerly a symbol on Swansea RFC's jerseys, is a fish-hunting sea eagle, coloured white with a black eye-stripe.

The birds, which in the UK are now only native to Scotland, generally mate for life, but there are cases where partners are spurned and 'divorced'.

One of the earliest literary references to the predator is found in Aristotle's Natural History:

"(The bird) lives near the sea, grasps its prey with its talons, and often, from inability to carry it, tumbles down into the water."

In a more positive sign for the new region, ornithologists advise that the osprey's hunting skills have improved and that it is a formidable predator.




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