Stand-in Wales coach Rob Howley has thrown his weight behind the Ospreys’ bid for RaboDirect PRO12 glory – admitting domestic success for the welsh region could kick-start his search for a memorable international tour Down Under.
Despite Wales gearing up for a clash with the Barbarians ahead of a three-Test tour to Australia Howley has insisted the May 21 squad meet-up date will not apply to the Ospreys contingent.
The Liberty Stadium side only have eyes for the RaboDirect PRO12 final against Leinster on May 26 at present, and rightly so according to Howley.
In the eyes of Warren Gatland’s temporary replacement domestic glory will be the perfect shot in the arm for the whole squad ahead of a tricky showdown with the Wallabies.
“The Ospreys will have our full backing in their bid for silverware in a fortnight's time, so we will not be asking them to join us until a week after everyone else," said Howley.
“They are playing very well at the moment, and a win in the final would be a great starting point for our own campaign this summer. The call-ups for both Dan Biggar and Andrew Bishop, in particular, reflect the good form the Ospreys are in.
“Elsewhere, we have been pretty consistent with selection. It's now down to these players to pick up where we left off in the Six Nations to prove to us that they should be on that plane to Australia.
“We hope to get the summer off to a winning start against the Baa-Baas, and everyone who figures in that game will be playing for a place on the tour.”