South Africa-born wing Hanno Dirksen signs new three-year deal with Ospreys
Last Updated: 08/05/14 10:58am
Hanno Dirksen: Tied his future to the Ospreys with three-year deal
The Ospreys insist the best is yet to come from Hanno Dirksen after handing the winger a new three-year contract.
The South-Africa born 23-year-old has struggled with injury problems in the last two years, forcing him to undergo two knee operations.
Qualified to represent Wales, Dirksen was the region's top try scorer in 2011-12 and his contract renewal means he become the 13th Ospreys player to commit their future to the club
"It's fantastic news that we have been able to secure Hanno and ensure he remains in this environment for the next three years," said rugby operations manager Andy Lloyd.
"He's had a difficult time with injury and we have had to manage him on a daily basis since he returned to playing, but he is someone who can really establish himself at the top end of the game over the next three years.
"He has a real physicality, a forceful nature to his game, and a go-forward attitude that can be crucial to how we want to play the game,
"He is still only 23, so although he has already gained a considerable amount of top-level experience, his best days are very much ahead of him, something that is true about a number of players in our squad."
Dirksen impressed in the Ospreys' 30-27 defeat against Zebre last week and his record of 15 touchdowns in 56 regional appearances means he is not far off the club's all-time top 10 try scorers list.
"I'm very, very happy to have another three years" said Dirksen.
"I haven't had much game-time this year because of a long injury, but I'm back playing again and I just want to be on the field with the jersey as much as I can, to make up for missing so much rugby.
"There is competition for places on the wing and you need that to make you improve and be a better player. It's the last game of the season on Saturday, so it's important I finish well, work hard over the summer and then come back for pre-season to hopefully get back to where I was before the injury.
"The region has been very good to me. It's where I've developed as a rugby player and is home for me, which makes it even more special to stay here."
In addition to completing a host of contract renewals, the Ospreys have also completed the new signings of Rynier Bernardo, Josh Matavesi, Dan Evans, Sam Parry and Gareth Thomas.