9:46am Saturday 25th January 2014
By Chris Kirwan
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons are looking to add another hooker to their ranks after the Ospreys confirmed the signing of Sam Parry on a four-year deal.
The 22-year-old from Haverfordwest, who is currently training with Wales ahead of the Six Nations, has spent the last three seasons at Rodney Parade.
He was out of contract this summer and has opted to head to the Ospreys to battle Scott Baldwin to replace Gloucester-bound Wales and Lions star Richard Hibbard.
The front rower, who has played second fiddle to former international Rhys Thomas this season, had not yet been offered a new Dragons deal and the region learned in the autumn about his move to their rivals.
They have been in the recruitment market for a new hooker since then and hope to soon announce a new rival for Thomas, Wales Under-20s prospect Elliot Dee and prop/hooker Hugh Gustafson.
Parry will be joining fellow former Dragons Richard Fussell, Joe Bearman and Tom Isaacs at the Liberty Stadium along with flanker Sam Lewis, who changed his mind after agreeing to a move to Rodney Parade last month.
“I am delighted for Sam about his move west,” said Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones.
“When I was informed of his imminent move to the Ospreys in early November I was pleased yet disappointed.
“Since I found out about his decision not once have I or anybody at the Dragons put any pressure on Sam or any member of his family to revoke his signed contract.
“I sincerely wish him all the best for his future in rugby.”
Parry, who headed to the Dragons from Llandovery, trained with Wales before the tour to Japan last summer and has been helping with Six Nations preparations.
He hopes that the switch to the Ospreys can help his bid to become a full-blown member of Warren Gatland’s squad.
“I’m very excited to be joining the Ospreys from next season,” he said. “They're a quality team who challenge at the top four of the RaboDirect Pro 12 every year so I'm really looking forward to this opportunity and the challenges that come with being an Ospreys player.
“I feel this is the right place for me to continue improving and develop as a young rugby player, working day in, day out with top quality coaches and players.
“My long-term ambitions as a player are to be involved in an Ospreys team that will continue to challenge for success and silverware year on year and, also, to hopefully make the step up to the next level and become a Welsh international.”
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