Welsh Rugby
Gatland predicts Bennett Ospreys exit
ESPNscrum Staff
February 19, 2012
Hooker Huw Bennett on the charge for Wales, England v Wales, Twickenham, England, August 6, 2011
Huw Bennett has been linked with a move away from the Ospreys © Getty Images
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Wales coach Warren Gatland has predicted that hooker Huw Bennett will leave the Ospreys at the end of the season.

The 28-year-old front-rower admitted in December that he was open to offers, with his contract at the Liberty Stadium set to expire at the close of the current campaign.

The region has recently lost Mike Phillips, James Hook and Lee Byrne to deals in France and while they have retained the services of tight-head Adam Jones, fears over a player exodus following the introduction of a salary cap are growing in Wales.

"Huw Bennett hasn't been offered anything, or a lot smaller contract at the Ospreys, and could be going offshore," Gatland told BBC Sport.

The regions are currently fighting an uphill battle to keep their star names, but the possible drain on resources could also have a detrimental impact on Gatland's work with the national side given the difficulties in navigating player release from French and English clubs.

"It does hinder your preparation...it's definitely going to be a challenge with players playing in France and potentially England, something we're going to have to cope with," he said. "But you can understand that the regions are under a huge amount of financial pressure as well."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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