‘Role model’ Scott Baldwin gets new Ospreys contract
SCOTT Baldwin has been handed a new long-term contract at the Ospreys, with the former Pro12 champions hailing him as a role model for young players in the Premiership.
The fresh package will tie the 25-year-old to the Liberty until 2017.
It is reward for the patience and perseverance of a player who first showed up on the region’s radar four seasons ago.
Baldwin struggled to make a mark initially but last term he played 23 times and crowned his campaign with a debut appearance for Wales on their summer tour of Japan.
Now the Ospreys see him as a hugely important squad member, with rugby operations manager Andy Lloyd saluting him as an example for others to follow.
“I’m really pleased for him,” said Lloyd.
“Scott has been outstanding for the region over the last 18 months and earned this contract with his hard work, effort and dedication.
“He is an excellent role model to other players in the region who are playing in the Premiership, working hard and performing consistently.
“He’s been in our system a long time now, since he was brought in from Bridgend a few years back, and it’s important to understand that a breakthrough season like he enjoyed last term doesn’t happen overnight. He’s worked really hard over a number of years to improve both his physicality and his technical skills, remaining patient when at times he found a lack of game time frustrating.”
Lloyd continued: “He has shown that if you put the hard work in you can get the reward, both regionally and nationally. The challenge for him now that he has secured a new contract is to continue working hard and to strive for continuous improvement rather than just settling for what he’s got.”
The Ospreys see the 6ft 2in, 17st 8lb hooker as an important part of their plans, and with Richard Hibbard set to be called on extensively by Wales in the build-up to the World Cup, Baldwin is set to have opportunities.
He should have chances early in the coming campaign, with Hibbard rested after his exertions with the Lions.
He said: “The Ospreys have been great to me since I came on board and I’ve really developed.
“Last season was a big jump forward for me, being involved regularly every week, and I’m happy that everything is sorted so that I can look forward to the new season and beyond, working with a great bunch of boys in the team and great coaching staff.”
Baldwin added: “The good thing about the Ospreys is the way they bring players through each year, not just youngsters but boys from the Premiership who haven’t been part of the age-grade set-up. “I was lucky enough to get an opportunity and I hope I’ve been able to make the most of it.”