Ospreys have secured the services of 21-year-old centre Ashley Beck for the next two years after he signed a new contract that will keep him at the Liberty Stadium until 2014.
Beck came through the ranks at the region, playing for Skewen and Tonmawr as a junior before going through the Ospreys age-grade system and gaining valuable experience with Aberavon in the Premiership.
An age-grade international, Beck entered the record books in November 2007 as the youngest ever player in the Celtic League when he came off the bench at the Liberty Stadium in a defeat to Leinster aged just 17 years and 222 days, a record which he still holds to this day.
He has clocked up 38 Ospreys appearances since then, scoring five tries and establishing himself in the team this year with 19 appearances during 2011 to date. His try against Glasgow at the Liberty Stadium back in March won the Magners League try of the season award, while he scored his first Heineken Cup tries at the weekend, touching down twice during the defeat to Saracens at Twickenham.
Speaking after signing his new contract, Beck said: "It's great that I've been able to secure a new contract. I've been fortunate enough to get some valuable first team experience this year and for the coaches to think I've performed well enough to get another two years is fantastic.
"I'm really excited about the future of the Ospreys. We've got a young squad here and we've done really well as a team this season. We are developing well and I think that we can get better still.
"Working with the great players and coaches here has really helped me kick on as a player and I'm enjoying representing my home region. I genuinely believe that if we keep working hard and keep improving then we can do the region proud," he added.
Ospreys head coach Sean Holley, acknowledged the progress made by Beck to date, saying that he expected to see the youngster kick-on off the back of his new contract.
"Ashley's been around us for a while which makes people think he's older than he actually is," said Holley.
"He's still a young man, albeit a mature one, and he's been knocking on the door for a while now. This season he's had a run of games and during this time has shown his value to the Ospreys.
"He's always been a prodigious talent, I remember first seeing him as a 14-year old at Tonmawr along with Kristian Phillips and Matthew Jarvis, and it was clear then that he was destined for greater things.
"With the security of another two years at the Ospreys, he can now look to kick on even further and push to really establish himself at this level and above. To have him for the next two seasons is a real boost to everybody at the Ospreys," said Holley.
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