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Ospreys swoop for Bearman

The Ospreys have confirmed the signing of back-rower Joe Bearman from the Newport Gwent Dragons on a two-year deal.

Bearman has made a huge impression during his five seasons at Rodney Parade and, having returned to action from a lengthy spell on the sidelines in January, the 32-year-old believes the opportunity to join the reigning Magners League champions was too good to miss.

"I'm really looking forward to linking up with the Ospreys, this is an excellent opportunity for me to play top level rugby that I couldn't turn down," said Bearman.

"I've enjoyed five good years at the Dragons, but I felt that the time was right for a new challenge and a change of environment. There were four or five really good offers on the table but it was the Ospreys who really impressed me."

The Ospreys have also confirmed that flanker Ben Lewis has been forced into retirement at the age of just 24.

The talented youngster had been tipped for international honours after bursting on to the scene a few seasons ago, but a run of injuries saw him struggle to regain his best form, with a neck problem leading to the decision to give up the game.

Ospreys physio Chris Towers said: "In the course of the last week it has been confirmed that Ben Lewis will retire from rugby, based on medical opinion, after specialists advised him that it was in the best interests of his future wellbeing.

"This decision stems from a neck injury he sustained in September, following which, he committed himself to an intensive rehab programme with a view to returning to rugby.

"Despite satisfying all the physical objectives, on his return to rugby in February, to play in the Premiership for Swansea, he suffered subsequent symptoms, happily with no residual issues.

"However, the nature of the symptoms are such that regrettably it is in his best interests to follow the medical advice he has received."

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