Kahn Fotuali'i hints at extending his stay with Ospreys
KAHN Fotuali'i has hinted that he could be persuaded to stay with the Ospreys, just days after Dan Biggar declared his readiness to sign a three-year deal at the Liberty.
Biggar indicated over the weekend that talks with the region were at an advanced stage and that he could pen a fresh contract "over the next couple of weeks".
And now Fotuali'i has fuelled hopes that the Ospreys could be about to pull off a significant coup by managing to retain two players who have been the subject of transfer speculation for months.
The 32-year-old scrum-half, man of the match in Sunday's Heineken Cup clash with Leicester Tigers, said: "It's something we need to talk about further on, but I'd be very pleased to stay.
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"We have a great bunch of boys here and the future excites me a lot.
"My focus in on helping out on and off the field.
"We're out of Europe but there are positives to come out of the campaign.
"We have a great bunch of boys, some quality youngsters coming through, and it's testament to what Steve Tandy and the other coaches are doing. Everyone is buying into what the coaches are doing. Everyone is getting on board."
The Liberty Stadium half-backs are both out of contract this summer.
Close on half the clubs in the Top 14 are said to be interested in Fotuali'i, plus a number of teams in England, and Biggar has also been linked with a move to France.
But the fly-half claimed he'd had no firm offers on the table from any club in the Top 14.
He said: "I am happy here and this is where I want to continue to play. As long as we keep hold of players like Kahn and a strong forward pack, I'm happy to stay."
The Ospreys are clearly making a determined effort to keep two players who have been at the heart of their challenge in the Pro12 and the Heineken Cup this season. Fotuali'i, in particular, has got better as the campaign has worn on, picking up a series of man-of-the- match awards. "He's world class and great to have around on the training field because his influence rubs off on the younger players," said head coach Tandy. "Not only is he a great ball player, he also understands what we want from a game, runs it well and is huge defensively.
"Without any shadow of doubt we need the likes of Kahn and Biggs to help build the group we have."
Asked was he hopeful of retaining the duo, Tandy replied: "Yes."
Meantime, Ryan Jones could miss the first two rounds of the Six Nations after suffering a compound dislocation of the thumb joint in his right hand in Sunday's 15-15 draw with Leicester.
"The initial estimate is that Ryan will be unavailable for around three to four weeks," said Ospreys head physio Chris Towers.
"However, I would stress that this is subject to further review in around seven to ten days."
It leaves former national captain Jones looking set to miss Wales's home game with Ireland on February 2 and the away date against France a week later.
The Ospreys are also monitoring the fitness of Richard Hibbard after he injured a shoulder against the Tigers.