Guinness PRO12
Bennett: Ospreys are the 'nobody-knows'
ESPN Staff
August 4, 2014
The Ospreys have lost the likes of Ian Evans to pastures new © PA Photos

Former British & Irish Lions and Wales star Phil Bennett has dismissed the Ospreys' chances of silverware this season saying they are "miles off" Leinster and Munster.

The Ospreys have lost Ian Evans, Richard Hibbard and Ryan Jones in the close season and Bennett says the Swansea region are a world away from their former days when they had a series of top internationals in their team.

"They have a young hard-working, honest bunch of players who will strive hard to maintain their status as the leading Welsh team," Bennett wrote in his column for the Sunday Mirror. "But they are miles off teams such as Munster and Leinster when it comes to competing on all fronts - Europe and the Guinness Pro12.

"And as for the profile of their players, well, most of them could walk from Swansea to Mumbles along the sea-front without being detained too long by autograph hunters. With the exception of Alun Wyn Jones and perhaps Dan Biggar, the big names have all gone. The galacticos have become the nobody-knows."

Bennett praised the ability of Justin Tipuric and Dan Biggar but admitted he has concerns over the Ospreys' game management.

"Alun Wyn [Jones] and Dan [Biggar] will be their key players and the good thing is that both men will sweat blood for the Ospreys cause every time they take the field," Bennett added. "Justin Tipuric is now a world class talent - someone who will compete on equal terms with Sam Warburton for the Wales No.7 shirt and who could well oust his rival.

"But elsewhere throughout the team there is uncertainty. Yes, they have youthful promise, with guys like Dan Baker and Sam Davies - a pair I'm looking forward to seeing more of. When it comes to controlling big matches at critical moments though, they look a bit callow."

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