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Tandy: Giles not the finished article

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor

30 Oct 2016


Keelan Giles’ remarkable try-scoring run continued in the Guinness PRO12 yesterday as the Ospreys triumphed over Welsh rivals Newport Gwent Dragons, but Steve Tandy insists the youngster’s welfare is his highest priority.

The 18-year-old has established himself in the Ospreys side with eight tries in four games since making his regional debut and has been invited to train with Rob Howley’s senior Wales squad for the Autumn internationals.

He impressed with two tries against Kingsley Jones’ Dragons side yesterday, helping them to a 35-17 win and moving second in the Guinness PRO12.

Though Giles appears to be improving exponentially and making the Ospreys’ wing berth his own, head coach Tandy believes he must continue to manage the starlet’s workload.

“It’s great he’s getting regional rugby, but it’s not about playing him every single week, it’s about managing him,” former Ospreys flanker Tandy explained.

“He’s still a young boy and we have to make sure we don’t get too carried away with Keelan and make sure his interests are at the heart of everything we do.

Though Giles’ stunning form has been recognised by Howley, Tandy believes the Wales Under-20 Grand Slam winner is not ready to make his Test debut when Australia, Argentina, Japan and South Africa come to town.

“I think there’s a few other boys in and around the squad that have been there for a while, but I know the Wales management will look after Keelan properly too and they’ll see where he’s at,” he added.

“It’s really pleasing to have someone like that in your team but at the start it’s a team thing.

“One of his tries came after Joe Bearman’s gone through and the ball’s shot out and Keelan’s fly-hacked it through.

“He’s shown outstanding pace to finish it off but I think that’s where we’ve got to be careful how we manage Keelan around that and making sure it’s about the group.

“It’s unbelievable to have a finisher like him in the team and it’s not just the try scoring, it’s his defensive abilities, his work rate is really, really pleasing – but it’s all off the back of real top team performances too.”

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