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King to make most of Jones’ absence

Guinness PRO12 Editor

8 Nov 2012


Blessed with the same unique skill set as Ryan Jones, fellow Osprey James King is dead set on making the most of the former’s absence on international duty in the coming fortnight.

Still only 22 years old, King can play in the back-row as well as at lock but has found himself stuck on the bench in recent weeks in the RaboDirect PRO12.

King came off the bench last weekend as the Welsh region took down Leinster in a re-match of last year’s Grand Final.

But with the LV= Cup set to get underway this Friday when Ospreys host Gloucester, King insists he has every intention of making his case from the outset.

“At the beginning of the season Ryan (Jones) was injured so it was a chance for me to get some game time in,” said King.

“As I got injured he came back into the side but now he has gone away on international duty now and that gives me another chance.

“I still learn a huge amount from him. He was one of those players I watched growing up and thought I would never get to play with him.

“Players like Jerry Collins as well, I remember my first start was alongside him in an LV game against Bath.

“You learn so much so at the end of the day although they are your idols you want to be playing ahead of them.”

Ospreys are currently on a run of five wins on the bounce in the RaboDirect PRO12 but in Europe their campaign has been less stellar with a crushing bonus-point loss to Leicester last time out in the Heineken Cup.

And King insists that in the absence of players such as Jones and Justin Tipuric on international duty it is up to the youngsters to continue to set the same standards in performance.

“The LV=Cup allows the younger generation to come through and get some game time,” he added.

“It seems like a lot of clubs go down the route of developing young talent and you can see the average age of our team at the moment just how young it is from recent years and I think it is definitely they way forward.

“Matthew Morgan was on the shortlist last year for the breakthrough player and we have Eli Walker. The core group of players here is strong so we are definitely in contention in this competition.

“We have got Gloucester first up and that is just the start of what is a hard group for us. In the past we have had Northampton, Wasps and even though we didn’t have our full team we gave them a good run for their money and hopefully we can do the same again.”