Tomas Francis poised for return to Wales after prop signs for Ospreys
Wales prop Tomas Francis will return across the border next season from Exeter Chiefs, after Ospreys announced that Francis has signed for the region ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.
Francis joined Exeter from London Scottish back in 2014 and has gone on to establish himself as one of the best tightheads in the Gallagher Premiership, making his Wales debut back in 2015 ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
Going on to win 52 caps, the 28 year-old needed to sign a contract with a Welsh region in order to continue his international career given he felt short of the 60-cap marker which allows Wales internationals to be selected whilst playing club rugby outside Wales.
Francis said: “I knew there would be a time when I would have to make a decision on my future. It’s not been easy – in fact it’s been the toughest decision I’ve had to make in my career – but I’ve had to do it to make sure I can carry on playing international rugby.
“Since the moment I arrived at the Chiefs, it’s been an unbelievable journey for me. I came here six, seven years ago as a Championship player and now I’m leaving as a 50-plus cap international and with two Premiership and one European title under my belt. What I have achieved with the Chiefs – and what I still hope to achieve this season – is something special.
“The boys I know in the Wales squad all talked positively about what is happening at the Ospreys and it seems like a place that is heading in the right direction. The Ospreys just stood out to me as the region that is going places.”
Toby Booth, the Ospreys Head Coach, said: “Signing a current international tighthead prop with a winning history and mentality will help the Ospreys make the steps we need to make and fuel the ambition now and for the long term future.
“He has won European and domestic honours and he will bring a wealth of experience and a massive set-piece capability to our squad. His qualities will prove invaluable going forward as we prepare for the new challenges presented by the new Pro16 competition.”