Wales international hooker Huw Bennett has extended his contract with the Ospreys joining Lee Byrne, Shane Williams and Filo Tiatia, who have all committed their future to the region.
The Heineken Cup quarter-finalists confirmed on Monday that Huw Bennett had signed a new four year deal, which will keep him at their Liberty Stadium home until at least 2012.
Expressing his gratitude to the regional side for their support through difficult times Bennett said:
"On a personal level, this new contract is a way of me saying thanks to the Ospreys for sticking by me when I had a serious neck injury four years ago. They looked after me when I had to have surgery, re-signing me on a new contract because they had faith in me at a time when it was touch and go. So I appreciate the faith they showed in me at the time."
The 24 year old also hopes the Ospreys can build on their first qualification for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals:
"This season we've really started to show what we are capable of as a squad and by getting to the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup we've set ourselves a benchmark. Having crossed that bridge we've got to show that it's not a fluke and not only progress further this year, but do it again next season" he said.
The Wales hooker missed out on Saturday's Triple Crown win over Ireland at Croke Park due to illness but should return to the national squad for the final RBS Six Nations game against France at the Millennium Stadium.
Bennett has played 67 times for the Welsh region since it was formed in 2003 including 19 caps in the Heineken Cup.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.