Ospreys must adapt without key stars

Date published: March 23 2016

Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy has said his side will have to perform without Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric when they face Scarlets in Swansea on Saturday.

The two Test players were injured while on Six Nations duty for Wales and will miss the Ospreys must-win encounter while nursing a foot injury (Jones) and a concussion (Tipuric) respectively.

Ospreys, who will have to win if they want to qualify for next year's Champions Cup, have also had to do without the services of lock Lloyd Ashley since January through a knee injury, and now face a second row shortage.

When asked if he had back-up to cover for Jones at lock, Tandy responded: "You don't have much of a choice," Tandy told the South Wales Evening Post.

"You have to find a way. Not having people like Lloyd Ashley fit takes its toll on an inexperienced squad, with Alun Wyn out as well, but it's life and we have to find a way.

"We're hopeful Tyler [Ardron] will come through, but Rory Thornton has done a good job and is developing all the time."

Loose forward Sam Underhill will provide cover for Tipuric and Tandy believes that the 19-year-old can do the job.

"Sam has proven on the European stage that he can fill Justin's shoes with physicality and some of his work," said Tandy.

"He's a slightly different player from Justin, but we have Sam and Olly Cracknell and a lot of the young kids have really developed through these international windows."