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Ospreys centre Ashley Beck may return for Edinburgh clash

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 20, 2013

Ashley Beck

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ASHLEY Beck could return for the Ospreys' home match against Edinburgh on Friday — but Steve Tandy's squad is still likely to be stretched because of injury and unavailability.

The Ospreys are hopeful Beck will recover sufficiently from an ankle injury to play some part.

That would provide a welcome boost to a side likely to be without Andrew Bishop and Ian Gough, while Ben John is sidelined with a rib injury.

And Tandy's selection headache could get even worse this afternoon when Joe Bearman and Ross Jones discover their fate after being cited in last weekend's defeat to Connacht.

"Hopefully Beck will play some part, but Goughy's not going to make Friday — he'll be back in contention for Munster," said the Ospreys head coach.

"Ben will be missing for a couple of weeks, but hopefully he will be available post-Munster.

"We're probably not going to name our team until the last minute which is something that we don't like doing, but it's the stage we're at."

The Ospreys have been particularly short of options out wide.

Young scrum-half Tom Habberfield has been pushed on to the wing in recent weeks and Tandy may again ask a member of his squad to play in an unorthodox role this weekend.

"We're pretty thin, but it's something that we've just got to deal with," he said.

"We'll probably have to push someone else out of position at the weekend.

"It's the way it is at the moment, it's the nature of the beast."

Last Friday's 22-10 defeat to Connacht saw the Ospreys tumble out of the top four of the Pro12 with only seven games of the season remaining.

They can ill afford another slip if they are to reach the play-off and have a chance of defending their RaboDirect title.

"Edinburgh haven't had the best results, but we've been going through their footage this week, they've got some great players and they can score tries," said Tandy.

"For our play-off hopes it's a huge game. We haven't played at home for a while so it'll be good to get back to the Liberty in front of our fans.

"I think Edinburgh play some real good football, their scrum was pretty decent last week against the Blues and they can score tries from anywhere.

"We have to put our stamp on the game from set-piece and play in the right areas which we didn't do last week against Connacht."

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