Francis signs for Ospreys to stay eligible for Wales

London (AFP) –


Wales prop Tomas Francis is swapping English and European champions Exeter for Welsh region Ospreys in order to continue his international career.

The 28-year-old England-born front rower has been capped 52 times, eight short of the minimum required to be considered for Test selection under Welsh Rugby Union rules for players based outside the country.

Francis has signed a three-year deal with the Pro 14 side and will link up with them for the 2021-22 season.

"Signing for the Ospreys will allow me to continue to play for Wales, something I was not willing to give up," said Francis.

"I'm still ambitious and keen to keep improving and I see Ospreys as the perfect place to do that," he added.

Ospreys head coach Toby Booth said Francis would bring a wealth of experience to the club.

"In our new era and on the journey we are on, it is important to show both ambition and a desire to develop our own players," said Booth.

"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."