28-year-old Fricker returns to Wales having spent four seasons at Ashton Gate following a move from Ebbw Vale in 2018 where he scored nine tries in 32 appearances.
A Welsh seven’s international, Fricker, becomes head-coach Toby Booth’s sixth summer signing following moves to the region by Cardiff lock James Ratti, scrum-half’s Cam Jones and Luke Davies. Hooker Ethan Lewis and centre Dom Morris have also taken the trip over the Severn Bridge to South Wales having signed from Saracens.
Booth, pleased with the acquisition, feels that Fricker can have a significant impact at the Swansea.com Stadium.
“With Toby, we know that we’ve signed an abrasive winger who isn’t afraid to use his physical prowess,” explained Booth.
“He’s a player that knows where the try line is, and that can only be a good thing for us.
“He’s put his hand up in some crucial moments for Bristol and we’re hoping he can do that for us this season.”
Speaking on the move, Fricker, who will go straight into Booth’s squad to face the Dragons in the United Rugby Championship this afternoon is looking forward to getting started at his new club.
“It’s great to be playing my rugby in Wales again. My last spell went really well so I’m happy to be back here, especially for the Ospreys”, explained Fricker.
“I learned a lot during my time in Bristol and I’m looking forward to representing the Ospreys badge in the BKT URC and Challenge Cup this year.”
Meanwhile, the Ospreys have also confirmed contract extensions for six of their promising young stars.
Wales under-20 international Iestyn Hopkins, who made his debut in the last campaign and became a firm fixture at the back end of the season being one of a successful youth strategy.
Booth, since joining the region in the summer of 2020, has been keen to invest in the development of future talent as part of the Ospreys long-term vision of producing the next generation of local stars and sees Hopkins as one that fits the bill.
The Ystradgynlais product joins flanker Will Hickey, Lewis Jones, Liam Edwards and second-rower Alex Ashton in penning deals.
Jones, Lloyd and Edwards have yet to make their senior debuts for the region and will likely be given first-team game time during the campaign after impressing in the recent under-20 World Cup for Wales in South Africa.
Recent years have seen the Ospreys carry on a proud record of representation within the national under-20 set up with Dan Edwards, Morgan Morse and Harri Houston all starring in the summer tournament.
“We are delighted to announce the signing of this young, talented group of players, we take great pride in developing young talent,” said Rugby General Manager, Dan Griffiths.
“Our Regional Age Grade performances and the representation we have had at a National Age Grade level over the last few seasons is a great endorsement of the work undertaken by the staff and coaches involved throughout our development pathway.
“It is always a great pleasure to see these young players progress, go on to represent the region and hopefully contribute to a successful future at the Ospreys.”
[Lead image: Bristol Bears RFC]
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