Ospreys sign Newport Gwent Dragons flanker Joe Bearman

Newport Gwent Dragons back-row Joe Bearman
Bearman has caught the eye of Wales selectors over recent years

Dragons back-rower Joe Bearman has signed a two-year contract to play for the Ospreys from next season.

The 32-year-old Englishman has spent almost six years with the Dragons and now qualifies to play for Wales.

He missed the first four months of this season with a "career threatening" groin injury, but has recovered to make eight appearances since January.

"This is an excellent opportunity for me to play top level rugby that I couldn't turn down," Bearman said.

"I've enjoyed five good years at the Dragons, but I felt that the time was right for a new challenge and Ospreys a change of environment.

"There were four or five really good offers on the table but it was the Ospreys who really impressed me."

Bearman has been at Rodney Parade since his 2005 move from the Cornish Pirates and he completed a three-year residential qualification last season.

His early season form put him in contention for a place in the Wales squad for the 2009 autumn internationals, but the groin injury ruined those chances.

"I've got a lot of experience that I can bring to this young squad, I've played a lot of rugby and I hope I'll be able to give that something extra to the group, including my ball carrying ability, something all teams need," he added.

Bearman is the second back-row recruit announced by the Ospreys in less than a week, following the capture of Samoan George Stowers from London Irish.

"Joe comes to us with an excellent reputation for being an honest, hard working individual, who thrives on the physical side of the game and is particularly renowned for his ability to make the hard yards with ball in hand," said Ospreys elite performance director Andrew Hore.

"With his experience I've no doubt that he will prove to be a huge asset to the Ospreys environment, on and off the field.

"His signing is not just about what he brings to the team as a player, it is part of a bigger all round plan, to assist in the development of our younger players coming through.

"Joe leads by example, and displays all the characteristics that we want from our up and coming age-grade players."

Top Stories