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Holley hopeful Jones will be ready for Euro push

Guinness PRO12 Editor

18 Jan 2012


With the Ospreys still in the hunt for European knockout rugby, head coach Sean Holley hopes to be able to recall Ryan Jones for the mission.

Despite beating Treviso 44-17 last time out, Ospreys’ hopes of staying in the Heineken Cup are all but over but a place as one of the best runners up could secure them a place in the quarter-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup.

In order to do that the Ospreys will need to pick up a rare victory on French soil against Biarritz at Parc des Sports Aguilera on Sunday.

And after No.8 Jones sat out the visit of Treviso with a calf injury, Holley is optimistic his former captain can help them do just that.

“Ryan was in contention to play against Treviso,” said Holley. “We left the decision late but in the end he just failed to make it.

“The hope is that with nine days between the Treviso and Biarritz games he will be available for selection.

“He was close enough last weekend to suggest that will be the case.”

Meanwhile, Holley played down the significance of the crowd for the Treviso match of just 5,411 – well under half of what they had attracted for their RaboDirect PRO12 New Year’s Day clash against the Cardiff Blues.

Holley believes the extenuating circumstances of the Friday night television coverage kept many people away and says those who made the trip to the Liberty Stadium were well rewarded.

“Crowds are a topic right throughout Welsh rugby — I see even for the Six Nations we are selling tickets in Tesco,” he added.

“We have had the issue here and eight o’clock on a Friday evening on television is not helpful.

“They are the usual excuses but that is the way it is.

“Our hard core support might not be that big but they are excellent and make a difference. They would have enjoyed the Treviso victory.”