South Wales half-back gets chance Down Under

South Wales half-back Ollie Olds has landed a move to Australian Queensland Cup side Ipswich Jets, funded by NRL club Brisbane Broncos.

Olds, 19, hails from Bridgend and came through the old Celtic Crusaders academy, before spending a year with Leeds and playing in their Under 20s side. He also had a spell with Championship side York in 2012.

A full Welsh international, having made his first senior appearance against France in June 2012, he joined the Scorpions at the start of 2013 following the change in structure below first team level.

Olds said: “Brisbane Broncos have paid for the flights. They’ve sorted out work and accommodation for me and I’ll be signing for Ipswich Jets, the feeder side to the Broncos, when I arrive in Australia this week.

“Because I’m only 19, I can still play for Brisbane Broncos under 20s so my aim is to get into that side eventually.”

Olds has his current team-mates to thank for him leaving so soon. He was aiming to go out to Australia in 2014 but events happened quicker than he expected.

“I was speaking to the Aussie boys at the Scorpions, Haydn Peacock and James Tutuila, and I told them that I’d love to play in Australia perhaps next season,” he said. “James gave me the email address of the Ipswich Jets chairman and I then sent them a DVD in the hope I’d go down there in 2014.

“But he called me and asked me to come down there straight away so I’m taking it.

“I also want to try and get into the Wales squad for the World Cup later this year. There are a lot of Welsh qualified half-backs who play at a high level than me, so if I’m playing in the Queensland Cup, that’ll help me improve my game.

“I’d like to thank the Scorpions for releasing me, the Scorpions fans for all they’ve done to support me and to Paul Hart Photography for sponsoring me at the Scorpions this season.”

Olds leaves the club after playing just four games, all in the Northern Rail Cup. He scored one try and kicked 10 goals which helped him to a place in last month’s Northern Rail Cup Team of the Month.

Scorpions’ coach Dave Clark said: “We wish Ollie all the best in his career down under. We’re sorry to lose him but we obviously can’t stand in his way as this is a great opportunity to further his career.

“It’ll also be good for the Wales side to have one of their players turning out at a higher level than any side in the UK outside of Super League. All the best to him and I hope he progresses well. My big problem now is to replace him.”

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