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Humphreys believes young guns can fill the void

Guinness PRO12 Editor

3 May 2012


Ospreys might watch some familiar faces walk out of the Liberty Stadium at the end of this RaboDirect PRO12 season, but forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys believes the region’s young stars will ease the pain.

Internationals Tommy Bowe, Nikki Walker, Huw Bennett and Paul James are all off to pastures new, while Shane Williams will retire at the end of the campaign.

Replacing Wales’ all-time leading try scorer is a daunting task but in Eli Walker and Hanno Dirksen the Ospreys have two flying wings ready to step into the breach, having already impressed this RaboDirect PRO12 season.

And with Walker aged 20 and Dirksen just a year older, Humphreys is ready to put his faith in the Ospreys’ new blood.

"We have people like Eli Walker, who did extremely well when Shane was away, and Hanno Dirksen is really coming through," he told the South Wales Evening Post.

"This time last year he was nowhere, but we'd find it difficult to play without him right now.

"We're always proud of our development record and we're pretty positive we can get someone of the same ilk — not another Shane, but someone who can hopefully be somewhere close to being as effective as he is."