A clutch of English Premiership clubs are chasing one of the most highly-rated young talents in the Welsh game, according to reports.
Ospreys lock Rhys Davies, who made a huge impact after stepping into Alun Wyn Jones’ shoes for the region last season, is being trailed by a number of teams across the Bridge, claim the Rugby Paper.
They name former English and European champions Exeter Chiefs as among the clubs keen to sign the 22-year-old, who was called into Wayne Pivac’s Wales squad in the summer.
Wasps, Gloucester and Worcester are said to be other Premiership teams eyeing Davies, whose Ospreys contract runs out at the end of the season.
The reported scramble for his services is likely to put Ospreys boss Toby Booth on alert as he seeks to keep hold of one of the region’s prized assets.
Davies, who stands at 6ft 6in and is a powerhouse in the second row, had been in the Ospreys Academy before moving to Bath upon taking up a Millfield School scholarship in nearby Street.
His return to the Ospreys saw him fill Wales skipper Jones’ Ospreys jersey last season, amid predictions he too will play for Wales soon.
Davies shone for the Ospreys, quickly proving to be a reliable lineout performer with a relish for work around the field and an excellent tackle rate.
Ospreys boss Booth said of him: “He’s really exciting. I’ve been really impressed with how far he’s come in a short period of time. We talk about talent, but talent isn’t just about whether a player improves. It’s about how fast a player improves.
“He’s definitely one who’s accelerated quickly.
“He plays is in a position where there’s a lot of competition with Brad Davies, Al Wyn (Jones), Lloyd Ashley and Beardy (Adam Beard), but he’s got himself in a physical condition to deliver, and deliver consistently.
“We have a few internal awards which he’s been the recipient of, the unseen stuff, which shows that he’s definitely committed to us and his own performances.
“The best compliment I can pay him is to point out that when we’ve had a lot of people away on international duty, our performance hasn’t diminished in that area.”
That ability, it appears, has been noted in England with clubs said to be monitoring the contract situation of the former Wales under-20s ace.
If so, the Ospreys would appear to have a fight on their hands to keep hold of the highly-rated young Davies, with the Rugby Paper saying he would be offered more money by moving to England.