Jones praises Ospreys youngsters

Date published: October 2 2014

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Ospreys stalwart Alun Wyn Jones has praised the team’s youngsters for filling the boots of a rash of recently departed veterans.

Ospreys stalwart Alun Wyn Jones has praised the team’s youngsters for filling the boots of a rash of recently departed veterans.

The Welsh side lost several star players in the off-season and were expected to struggle this year, but have instead battled their way to four consecutive victories in four games.

“They’ve accepted the mantle of responsibility that we feel we have in the jersey,” Jones told BBC Sport.

“These guys were putting their hands up towards the end of last season.

“It’s fun trying to keep up with them. We’ve got a pretty young squad who are chomping at the bit.”

Prop Adam Jones, hooker Richard Hibbard, lock Ian Evans, utility forward Ryan Jones – all Wales and British and Irish Lions internationals – and flyhalf Matthew Morgan all departed the team in the summer.

Prop Nicky Smith, 20, and loose forward Dan Baker, 22, are just two of the youngsters who have replaced them and are performing admirably in the Pro12.

“A lot was said about who we haven’t got and not who we have got,” Jones added.

“Those guys that left achieved a lot in the Ospreys jersey and the young guys coming through have seen that.”

Opsreys opened the season with a 44-13 win over Bennetton Treviso, edged Newport Gwent Dragons 17-15 thrashed Edinburgh 62-13 and beat Munster 19-14 in their last game on Saturday.

On Saturday Jones leads his side out against Zebre in Parma with the Ospreys as favourites to pick up a fifth consecutive win.

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