RaboDirect PRO12: Ospreys swoop for Rynier Bernardo from Southern Kings
Last Updated: 28/04/14 9:36am
Ospreys have bolstered their pack with the signing of South African second row Rynier Bernardo from Super Rugby franchise Southern Kings.
The 22-year-old will join up with the Ospreys squad for pre-season after penning a deal which will see him remain at the Liberty Stadium until 2017.
Bernardo represented Eastern Province Kings at age-grade level before featuring in both Vodacom and Currie Cup campaigns for the region.
The Pretoria-born lock has made 10 Super Rugby appearances with tournament newcomers Southern Kings, but after a turbulent season in the southern hemisphere’s premier competition Bernardo will make the move to Wales.
He’s a big man who thrives on the unglamorous side of the game and will do the work that doesn’t get seen, allowing our back row boys and the backs to express themselves.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for me, personally and professionally, and I’m really excited about arriving in Wales this summer,” he told the Ospreys website.
“The Ospreys are a great team used to competing at the top end of the PRO12, with some great players, and I’m looking forward to being a part of a young and talented squad there.
“It’s a big challenge for me, but I can’t wait to get started. Hopefully I’ll be able to make a big impression and help the team to more success, domestically and in European competition.”
Ospreys have reached an agreement with Southern Kings to enable an early release in order to allow the 6ft 5in forward to enjoy the entirety of pre-season with the Welsh region.
Bernardo is the fourth new addition confirmed ahead of the new season following the announcements of Fiji centre Josh Matavesi from Worcester, Welsh international full-back Dan Evans and his Dragons team-mate, hooker Sam Parry.
“Rynier is an exciting addition to our squad and something of a coup for the Ospreys” said Andy Lloyd, rugby operations manager at Ospreys.
“He is highly respected in his home country and comes with a strong reputation as a traditional second-row who tackles well, hits rucks, and has the all-round physical edge that you expect from a South African in that position. It’s a really positive signing for us.
“As well as being impressed by what we’ve seen of him, we spoke to a lot of people whose opinion we value about his character, on and off the field, and what he will bring to our environment.
“He’s a big man who thrives on the unglamorous side of the game and will do the work that doesn’t get seen, allowing our back row boys and the backs to express themselves.”
As well as the four confirmed new signings, Ospreys have also secured the services of a number of key players beyond the end of the current campaign with Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Lewis, Ashley Beck, Eli Walker, Jonathan Spratt, Ben John, Ryan Bevington and Dmitri Arhip all signing new contracts.