sport

Ospreys sign former All Black

The Ospreys have signed former All Black Campbell Johnstone until the end of the season, strengthening their front-row options.

The 32-year old tighthead will offer much-needed cover after Joe Rees, Aaron Jarvis and Adam Jones were all ruled out with injury.

Johnstone, a product of the Canterbury province, played 38 times for Crusaders before he signed for Biarritz in 2008.

With the Ospreys preparing for back-to-back Heineken Cup clashes against European heavyweights Toulouse before some big Christmas derby fixtures, the powerful scrummager arrives at a critical time of the season.

The announcement of Johnstone's signing follows the return of Cai Griffiths on loan from London Irish.

Rugby operations manager Andy Lloyd told the region's official site: "The arrival of Campbell and Cai gives us some much needed options at tight-head 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 tight-heads 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."