Winger Jeff Hassler will make his 50th appearance for the Ospreys this Friday night, just a week after his fellow Canadian, Tyler Ardron, also hit the landmark.
The all-action winger, a fan’s favourite at the Liberty Stadium thanks to his physical style and eye for the try-line, has been at the Ospreys for a little over three years having arrived in South Wales in the summer of 2013.
His Ospreys debut came off the bench in Round 2 of the 13/14 PRO12 season, a 29-all draw in Leinster, and he marked his first start a week later with his first try in a 44-10 win over Edinburgh at the Liberty Stadium.
A combination of the Rugby World Cup and injury restricted him to just nine appearances last season but, now back to full fitness, he has hit the ground running this year with two tries in the opening three rounds of PRO12 action, taking his tally to date up to 18.
Speaking ahead of his 50th appearance, Hassler said, “It’s a proud moment in my career. For a Canadian to come in and be able to stick around in an environment like this long enough to get to 50 appearances, it’s pretty special for me.”
“I’m fortunate to make my 50th appearance on the same day that an Ospreys legend, Alun Wyn, will make his 200th, so that’s an honour for me, and it’s just a game after Tyler last weekend, so the landmarks are coming thick and fast in the group.”
“I’ve got at least another two years with the Ospreys now, somewhere that I’ve really enjoyed being, and, after last season, my focus now has to be on staying fit and, hopefully, getting the next 50 games under my belt.”
Ospreys Head Coach, Steve Tandy said, “When you think of the development in Jeff since he arrived here, he has established himself as not only a true Osprey, but as one of the best wingers in the PRO12. That’s testament to him and his desire to be a successful rugby player.”
“He adds to the environment on and off the field. He’s a great character, extremely diligent in everything he does, and he brings something different to the table. The way he represents the Ospreys is second to none. He puts his body on the line every time he takes to the field.
“He had a tough year last year but he never wavered in his commitment to the cause and to get to 50 games is a huge achievement for him.