IN-FORM Ospreys number eight Dan Baker has penned a fresh three-year deal with the region, writes Chris Kirwan.
The powerful 21-year-old has been in superb form of late, impressing with his strong ball carrying and neat footwork.
Baker was capped by Wales against Japan last summer and is likely to continue his development by touring South Africa in June as back-up to Newport Gwent Dragons star Taulupe Faletau.
The 6ft 3in, 17st 8lb forward is delighted that when he returns from his summer break he will be able to continue to learn his trade at the Liberty Stadium.
"I'm really happy," said Baker. "Ever since I was a kid, all I wanted to be was an Ospreys player.
"This year I've been able to play for the region and now I've got my first pro contract. I'm really happy to be here for the next three years. I'm a local boy and this is my region.
"It's been a very good year for me. I'm pretty lucky to have gained some experience in Japan with Wales last summer and now that I'm fully fit after a few months out it's brilliant to be playing regularly for the Ospreys.
"I have to try and build on this over the next three years. It won't be easy to establish myself in the first team but I'll give it my best shot and hopefully I'll be good enough."
Baker follows promising prop Nicky Smith in agreeing a new contract with the Ospreys.
Their regional rivals have also been busy securing their promising talent, most notably centre Cory Allen committing to a long-term deal with Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons agreeing fresh terms with full-back/wing Hallam Amos, centre Jack Dixon, centre/wing Tyler Morgan and hooker Elliot Dee.