The 28-year old tight head has put pen to paper on a two year deal and will remain at the Liberty Stadium until 2020, joining Adam Beard, Olly Cracknell, James King, Sam Parry and Owen Watkin in committing his future to the region, along with highly rated teenagers Will Jones and Reuben Morgan-Williams who have signed their first professional contracts.
It completes a memorable week for the 2009 Junior World Cup winner who made his 50thappearance for the Ospreys in last Saturday’s 27-26 win over Toyota Cheetahs.
“I’m excited” admitted Fia.
“I’m happy about securing another two years and I’m looking forward to it, I’ve enjoyed my time here so far.
“One of the work-ons last summer for the team coming into this season was improving the set-piece, especially scrum wise, and Allen Clarke brought in a point of difference being a former front row himself. That’s really helped me a lot with my game personally and it’s obviously helped the team as well.
“Nailing down a starting place week in, week out, has to be my initial goal now, over the next season or two, and we’re looking to build on the momentum of what we’ve started as a pack this season. It’s exciting and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Fia arrived at the Ospreys for the 2015/16 season having previously established himself as a Super Rugby regular for the Highlanders as well as featuring for Manawatu in the ITM Cup, helping them to Championship success in 2014.
Welcoming the news that Fia will be staying at the Liberty Stadium, Dan Griffiths, Rugby General Manager, said:
“We’ve seen real growth in Ma’afu since he came into our environment, and I’m sure he will want to firmly establish himself in the team over the next two seasons.”
“He has made good progress working closely with Allen Clarke, improving the technical side of his game at set piece which has been evident this season. The challenge now is to deliver a dynamism and work rate that complements the excellent footballing ability he has, week in, week out. Ma’afu has the materials to become a key figure in an Ospreys shirt next season.”
In addition to the players re-signing with the Ospreys, Wales and Scarlets pair Aled Davies and Scott Williams are the first two new additions to the squad confirmed for next season, with Matt Sherratt also appointed as Backs Coach.