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Ospreys sign former All Black Leonard
ESPN Staff
January 29, 2015
New Zealand scrum-half Brendon Leonard takes on the Welsh defence, Wales v New Zealand, Millennium Stadium, November 5, 2009
Scrum-half Brendon Leonard in his All Blacks days © Getty Images
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Former All Blacks scrum-half Brendon Leonard has joined Ospreys from Zebre, the Welsh region have announced.

Leonard, capped 11 times by new Zealand and a double Super Rugby champion with Chiefs, has signed on until the end of the 2017-18 season. He has been with Zebre since 2013, making 38 appearances and scoring five tries.

"I'm really excited to be signing for the Ospreys," said the scrum-half. "The thing that sticks out in my mind after speaking to everybody involved is that it's a club and an organisation with ambition and expectation, excellent facilities and high standards.

"Yes, I've got plenty of experience to call on, and I always want to use that to help my team mates, but I'm of the mindset that you never stop learning, wherever you are in life. What struck me the most is that the Ospreys is an environment where I'll be able to continue learning. It's something that is expected from everyone involved there.

"There's a hard working young coaching team, with strong and innovative ideas, and I'm looking forward to joining up later in the year and being a part of what they are building there. It's a good move for me professionally and personally, and hopefully, the team will continue to develop as they have this season."

Andrew Millward, rugby general manager at the Ospreys, was delighted with the signing, saying:

"He's a very experienced rugby player who has played at the very highest level with the All Blacks, and has been part of a squad that won back to back Super Rugby titles. That is the kind of experience that can make a huge difference within a young group of players, particularly during international periods when we lose so many leaders for some key matches.

"We need strength in depth if we are going to be able to compete on all fronts, right across the season, and with Brendon on board there is no doubt that we will have more strength at nine. His presence will help drive Rhys Webb and Martin Roberts on, as well as providing invaluable cover while Webby is away with Wales, and he can be a huge influence on Tom Habberfield's ongoing development.

"He's going to be a great addition to our squad and is an exciting signing. Anyone who has watched Brendon play will know he is a real attacking threat and will add something different to our armoury. He really understands the game and has a proper rugby brain, he's smart, and will be an asset.

"The coaches have spoken in great detail to him about the move and he's really excited about coming here. While he will play a big part on the field, what's equally important is the role he can have off the field, culturally, to help grow those around him."

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