Nicky Smith Targets URC Play-offs with Ospreys Before Leicester Move

Veteran Wales prop Nicky Smith determined to guide Ospreys to URC playoffs in final season before joining Leicester Tigers, eyeing Wales recall despite injury setback.

Salman Khan
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Nicky Smith Targets URC Play-offs with Ospreys Before Leicester Move

Nicky Smith Targets URC Play-offs with Ospreys Before Leicester Move

Nicky Smith, the 46-cap Wales prop, is determined to help the Ospreys secure a spot in the United Rugby Championship (URC) play-offs in his final season with the team before joining Leicester Tigers. Despite the Ospreys' poor Six Nations performance and his own injury setback, Smith remains hopeful of earning a Wales selection.

The Ospreys are currently seventh in the URC standings, just two points behind the Stormers. Smith, who has been with the region for 12 years, is focused on ending his tenure on a high note by guiding the team to the play-offs. "For me, if we don't make the play-offs, it will be an unsuccessful season," Smith said.

Smith was injured at the start of the Six Nations and was not called up by Wales head coach Warren Gatland. However, he is still eligible for Wales selection despite his upcoming move to an English club. "It was a tough decision to leave the Ospreys, as being a Swansea boy and playing for my local team has been an absolute honour for me," Smith explained. "But I feel it's the right time to take on a new challenge and test myself in a different environment with Leicester."

Why this matters: Smith's pursuit of a strong finish with the Ospreys and his continued aspirations for Wales selection highlight the importance of player performance and team success in the highly competitive world of professional rugby. His move to Leicester Tigers also underscores the increasing trend of players seeking new challenges and opportunities in different leagues and countries.

The Ospreys face a crucial five-match run-in to the end of the regular season, starting with a tough challenge against the Stormers in Cape Town this weekend. Smith is confident that the team can perform well and secure the win, which is their primary focus before potentially chasing a bonus point. The prop's experience and leadership will be vital as the Ospreys aim to finish the season strongly and push for silverware.

Key Takeaways

  • Nicky Smith, 46-cap Wales prop, to leave Ospreys for Leicester Tigers.
  • Ospreys 7th in URC, aim to reach play-offs in Smith's final season.
  • Smith injured, missed Six Nations, but still eligible for Wales selection.
  • Smith's move highlights trend of players seeking new challenges abroad.
  • Ospreys face crucial 5-match run-in, need Smith's experience to reach play-offs.