Ospreys call on Kiwi cover

Tue, 04 Dec 2012 11:09
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The Ospreys have moved to strengthen their front row options with the signing of former All Black prop Campbell Johnstone.
 

The Ospreys have moved to strengthen their front row options with the signing of former All Black prop Campbell Johnstone.

The former Crusaders and Biarritz tighthead has signed until the end of the season providing much needed cover for existing tightheads Aaron Jarvis, Adam Jones and Joe Rees who are all ruled out with injury.

The 32-year old from Waipukurau arrives in Ospreylia in time for the busiest month of the season. The Ospreys face back-to-back European Cup clashes against European heavyweights Toulouse ahead of big Christmas derby fixtures, before the focus turns back to Europe with the visit of old foes Leicester Tigers to the Liberty and a trip to Treviso.

A product of the Canterbury province, Johnstone played 38 times for Crusaders before signing for Biarritz in 2008. Renowned as a powerful scrummager, Johnstone played 80 games for the French outfit in four years, including 14 appearances in the European Cup.

In the 2009/10 season he faced the Ospreys in the nail biting quarterfinal clash in San Sebastian where Biarritz won by a solitary point en route to the final against Toulouse.

Capped three times by New Zealand in 2005, against Fiji and the British and Irish Lions (two Tests), Johnstone left Biarritz in the summer, returning to New Zealand to play for Tasman in the ITM Cup.

Johnstone's arrival comes just days after the return of Cai Griffiths on loan from London Irish.

Andy Lloyd, Rugby Operations Manager at the region, commented: "The arrival of Campbell and Cai gives us some much needed options at tighthead given the injuries we've suffered and the ongoing commitments we have to the national set-up at senior and age-grade level.

"Campbell will go straight into our ERC squad on his arrival, and although Cai is ineligible for the Heineken Cup having played in the Amlin Cup this season he will have a big part to play in our PRO12 defence, particularly during the Six Nations period when in addition to our senior national commitments we will also lose two tightheads to the U20 squad.

"We remain entirely committed to development from within and don't take any decision to look outside the group for injury cover lightly. However, we have a responsibility to our supporters, management and directors to remain competitive, as well as to our players for their personal welfare.

"Given the complete lack of any professional experience in our remaining options there is quite simply no way we could go the rest of the season without bringing in additional cover.

"This autumn we have seen seven front five players from this region involved with the senior national squad, a contribution that we are justifiably proud of. However, the reality is that with so many players from one region featuring there can be a heavy price to pay in terms of injuries to the like of Aaron, Richard Hibbard and Alun Wyn Jones as well as the need to provide squad cover, both during the international period and when players return to the region unfit to play," he added.

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Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
Lions v Bulls 51 | 14
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 18 | 16
Sunwolves v Sharks 17 | 38
Force v Highlanders 6 | 55
Hurricanes v Cheetahs 61 | 7
Fri, 19 May 2017
Leinster v Scarlets 15 | 27
Stormers v Blues 30 | 22
Chiefs v Crusaders 24 | 31
Sat, 13 May 2017
Jaguares v Force 6 | 16
PRO12
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Team P W D L Pts
Munster 22 19 0 3 86
Leinster 22 18 0 4 85
Scarlets 22 17 0 5 77
Ospreys 22 14 0 8 69
Ulster 22 14 1 7 68
Glasgow Warriors 22 11 0 11 58
Cardiff Blues 22 11 1 10 53
Connacht 22 9 0 13 44
Edinburgh 22 6 0 16 31
Treviso 22 5 0 17 23
Dragons 22 4 0 18 23
Zebre 22 3 0 19 19
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