Ospreys: Adam Jones targeting pre-Christmas return
THE Ospreys will monitor Adam Jones’s recovery from injury in the hope that Welsh rugby’s undisputed tight-head champion makes it back onto the pitch for the pre-Christmas Heineken Cup double-header against Toulouse.
Jones was told last weekend he could expect to be sidelined for between six and ten weeks with the knee problem he aggravated in the game against Leicester on October 21.
Doctors felt it was too early to be more precise about a comeback date, but if he does make good progress along the recovery trail there is a possibility Jones could be in contention for the Ospreys’ trip to France to take on Toulouse on December 8.
With Aaron Jarvis on Wales duty for the next five weeks, the Pro12 champions will look to Joe Rees to fill the scrum-anchor role, the youngster having tasted his first regional action in more than five weeks when Connacht visited the Liberty last weekend.
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He has been lightly used by the Ospreys this term, with just 44 minutes of action under his belt.
But the coaches were impressed with his progress last term and are looking to him to hold the fort until Jarvis and Jones return.
“I have confidence in Joe,” said forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys. “I think he has the potential to scrum at the highest level.
“But tight-heads need exposure and they need to stick to certain scrummaging principles.
“Aaron has had a lot of game-time, worked hard and developed into a very good player.
“Joe will now have a lot of game-time, with Adam injured and Aaron away, and we hope to see the same development from him.”
The Ospreys are also awaiting the arrival of Dimitri Arhip, the versatile Moldovan front-rower who can play in all three front-row positions.
But Scott Baldwin’s shoulder injury is likely to rule him out of the home Pro12 encounter with Leinster on Sunday.