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Gibbes happy with competition at hooker

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor

26 Oct 2016

TAGS

News, Ospreys
Guinness PRO12, The Sportsground, Galway 16/5/2015
Connacht vs Ospreys
Osprey's forwards coach Chris Gibbes
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Ospreys forwards coach Chris Gibbes expects the competition for places to positively challenge hooker Scott Baldwin following his release from the Wales squad.

Baldwin was one of several Welsh players to return to their club side from the Wales squad for the Autumn Internationals and heads back to Swansea ahead of their Guinness PRO12 derby with the Newport Gwent Dragons.

And ahead of the showdown Gibbes said the form of Baldwin has been pleasing, but admits he has had to step up his performances given the form of other Osprey hookers, such as Sam Parry who has five tries this season.

“We’ve got really good competition at hooker – we’ve got four guys there that are ready to go and I think any one of them can play at any given stage,” Gibbes explained.

“Scott’s had come back and really upped his game, he probably wasn’t at the best of where he normally is and would like to be.

“Plus the fact that Sam Parry is playing so well has really tested him so he’s had to step up and it’s pleasing to see that in most aspects of his game he’s done that.”

Despite Baldwin returning to the Liberty Stadium, Gibbes hinted that Adam Beard may start at hooker for Saturday’s game and backed the young Welshman to grasp the opportunity.

“We’ve definitely built and again we’re going to be tested this weekend but we’ve got guys like Adam Beard who will get a chance now to really put his hand up,” he added.

“He’s calling line-outs and that’s a new challenge for him as well within the group so it’s quite an exciting time for these young guys some we’ll definitely be testing it to see where we are.”

Ospreys resume Guinness PRO12 actions after two impressive showings in the European Challenge Cup where they dismantled Newcastle Falcons 45-0 followed by an impressive win over Lyon in France.

They will be looking to build on a promising start, which sees them one point off Ulster at the summit, against a Newport Gwent Dragons side who have lost five of their opening six games.

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