Gibbs: Ospreys' handling of Hook 'a disgrace'
February 5, 2011
James Hook has regularly been deployed at inside-centre by the Ospreys © Getty Images
Former Wales centre Scott Gibbs has labelled the Ospreys' management of James Hook as a 'disgrace'.
The playmaker will exit the region at the end of the season to take up a three-year deal in France with Perpignan and Gibbs, who skippered the Ospreys, has questioned the wisdom of playing him away from his favoured fly-half role.
In recent seasons Hook has been regularly deployed at inside-centre for the region, with youngster Dan Biggar monopolising the No.10 jersey, and has also failed to oust Stephen Jones at international level. He started Friday's Six Nations loss to England at fullback.
"James Hook has been so poorly managed by the Ospreys. It's an absolute disgrace," Gibbs told BBC Sport Wales.
"He, especially against England, he has been the most consistent performer who has caused them all sorts of problems over the last three or four years. I'd like to have seen him given more game time at No.10. He does try more and if you're going to try more then you will make mistakes.
"But he's not going to be comfortable in that No.10 position unless he's playing there week in, week out. He's a sensational player. People talk about "game management" but they don't know what they are talking about. I would much rather have a player like that [Hook] any day than not."
Ospreys elite performance director Andrew Hore hit back at Gibbs' suggestion, saying: "You talk to any punter in the pub and everyone has an opinion about selection and recruitment. We know the figures that were being bandied around and I don't think it would really matter whether he was playing 10, 12 or 15.
"I can't remember the last time he played for Wales at 10 and there was a lot of dialogue with James as to the reason why we used him in that position. We have utilised at 10. Scott can say whatever he likes but I don't think he has any more clout because he is a former Ospreys captain.
"People in the environment day-to-day have greater clout and it is a long time since Scott has been in the environment. I think regional rugby has evolved and changed a great deal and I don't think Scott is even living in the country. He is welcome here and can come and chat it through and if he has any concerns, as an ex-Osprey, we'd give him that respect."
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