Ospreys captain Alun Wyn Jones signs three year deal

Alun Wyn Jones was named Ospreys captain ahead of the 2010/11 season.
Wyn Jones was named Ospreys captain ahead of the 2010/11 season.

Ospreys captain Alun Wyn Jones has rejected offers from France to sign a new three-year contract at the region.

High-profile stars including James Hook and Lee Byrne are leaving the Liberty Stadium for France this summer, while Gavin Henson has already left.

But influential lock Jones, 25, is looking forward to helping the Ospreys challenge for honours.

"I'm hopeful that over the next three years I can really help the team kick-on to the next level," he said.

Swansea-born Jones, who has made 115 appearances for the club since making his debut in 2005, was appointed captain at the start of the 2010/11 season.

And the 48-times capped Wales star says the lure of representing his hometown club proved too strong.

"Obviously I'm really happy to be here for another three years, it's my home region and I'm proud to represent the Ospreys," said Jones.

"It's taken longer than I anticipated to complete everything but I've never wanted to play anywhere else and I've never said otherwise.

"It's flattering to have interest from France and offers from other clubs, but I'm very conscious that the grass isn't always greener on the other side."

Ospreys have already made moves in the transfer market, with Samoa scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i joining from New Zealand Super 15 side Crusaders, and back-rowers Joe Bearman and George Stowers agreeing deals for next season.

"The evolution taking place here is very positive, the new facilities and players coming in makes me excited about the next three years," added Jones, who was capped three times for the Lions during the 2009 tour of South Africa.

"Let's say that it would have been a far more difficult decision to move on than it has been to stay here."

Jones is the latest player to commit to a new contract with the Ospreys.

Ryan Jones, Jonathan Thomas, Andrew Bishop, Richard Fussell, Tom Isaacs, Rhys Webb, James King, Kristian Phillips, Scott Baldwin and James Goode have all signed new deals.

And Ospreys forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys was delighted to secure the skipper for another three years.

"It's a massive boost for everybody at the Ospreys that Alun Wyn, one of world rugby's leading second rows, has committed his future to the region and that he sees this environment as one where he can achieve his ambitions over the next three years," he said.

"Alun Wyn is integral to what we do here, and to where we want to take the Ospreys moving forward.

"He is captain for a reason; he exhibits all the characteristics we want and expect from our players, demands the highest standards of himself and his colleagues, is ambitious, and has a desire to succeed."