Ospreys appoint Gruff Rees as backs coach

Gruff Rees has spent eight months in Italy coaching Aironi
Gruff Rees has spent eight months in Italy coaching Aironi

The Ospreys have confirmed the appointment of Gruff Rees as backs coach at the region.

He will join head coach Steve Tandy and assistant Jonathan Humphreys following the departures of Sean Holley and Scott Johnson.

He has spent the last eight months working with Aironi on a secondment basis

"This is a really exciting opportunity for me and I can't wait to get stuck into it," said Rees.

"I realise that working for a region with such high expectations, both internally and externally, comes with real pressure.

"But I believe that along with Steve Tandy and Jonathan Humphreys I can help to move the Ospreys forward."

The Rees appointment comes just a fortnight after the Ospreys unveiled Tandy as head coach.

That was after Holley left by mutual concent and Johnson agreed to leave early from his post after originally he was going to stay until the end of the 2011/12 season toi take up a coaching role with Scotland.

Rees, 35, rejoins the Ospreys where he previously had six years involvement in a number of roles.

After a spell at Glamorgan Wanderers he began working with the Ospreys in 2005 as a Welsh Rugby Union performance skills coach.

In 2008, his role was extended to encompass the post of skills coach to the senior squad as well as the monitoring and development of individual performance.

Away from the Ospreys he assisted Rowland Phillips at Neath between 2006 and 2008 and acted as a consultant to Tandy at Bridgend.

Last season he was head coach of Wales U18's ands also worked with Wales Sevens, before going to Aironi.

"I've been away from the region for a short while and the experience I've gained in Italy will prove invaluable, allowing me to understand other rugby cultures and to look at a different way of working," added Rees.

"With the experiences I've got at international level and my knowledge of the group of players we'll be working with, I'm optimistic about what we can achieve here."