James King shows he's ready for Six Nations debut
JONATHAN Humphreys hailed James King as "ready for the Six Nations" after the youngster produced a battling show for the Ospreys in Italy yesterday.
The region bowed out of the Heineken Cup with a 17-14 defeat to Treviso, letting slip a 14-3 lead in the final minutes.
But King had a big game that had international quality written all over it.
"The kid was outstanding," said Humphreys.
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"He picked up a stinger to a shoulder during the game which hampered him a bit but he kept working and I thought his display was excellent.
"He has been good for us throughout this campaign.
"Is he ready for Wales for the Six Nations? I would say so — yes."
Eli Walker was a late withdrawal at Stadio Monigo after suffering a hamstring twinge during the team run on Saturday evening.
But the youngster is expected to join up with Wales this week to start preparing for the Six Nations.
"It was a precaution," said Humphreys.
"We could have pushed Eli through, but it wasn't worth risking it on a heavy pitch."
Humphreys was disappointed at the way they Ospreys allowed their lead to slip in northern Italy, but the assistant coach declined to criticise the region's young players.
"We just ran out of petrol," he said.
"Of course it's disappointing that we didn't get the result we had been looking for.
"But I am not going to jump up and down and criticise young players who have been exceptional for the Ospreys over the campaign.
"Guys like James King, Lloyd Peers and Sam Lewis were all excellent again.
"But Treviso finished strongly and got the win. Ian Gough had a bump in the warm-up and we couldn't use him — in the end it all caught up with us a bit.
"That said, it has still be a positive campaign.
"Some of these young players have given big accounts of themselves."