10:45am Tuesday 17th June 2014
OSPREYS boss Steve Tandy expects his pair of Newport Gwent Dragons recruits to give him some welcome selection headaches in the coming campaign, writes Chris Kirwan.
Full-back Dan Evans and hooker Sam Parry started pre-season training with their new region in Llandarcy on Monday after heading west from Rodney Parade.
Evans, 25, will be eyeing the number 15 jersey given that the Ospreys want 2013 IRB world junior player of the year Sam Davies to provide competition for Dan Biggar at fly-half.
Parry, 22, has previously been called up to Wales training squads and will aim to press his international claims by dislodging Scott Baldwin, who is currently with the Test team in South Africa.
"Dan will provide real competition for Richard Fussell and Ross Jones at the back” said Tandy. "It's going to be a great contest for the 15 jersey that I'm looking forward to.
“He's got a massive left boot on him which is a real asset, something which is always welcomed in any team. He's played 10 a lot in his career so we'll have two receivers on the field with him on there, which provides extra options in attack.
"He had a terrific season with the Dragons and I'll expect him to not only keep up that level of performance but to continue striving to improve as a player in our environment, which is one geared to development.
"We know already that Sam has outstanding physical qualities, but he is also a good rugby player,” continued Tandy.
“He's explosive, and he will add to the depth around the front row. It's not just about this season, we have a young squad and we believe he can help to drive this team for a number of years.
“It's an intriguing battle for that shirt now. We've got Scott Baldwin who has forced himself into Welsh contention now but there's also (Wales Under-20s hooker) Scott Otten, who made a huge impact at the end of last season, Matthew Dwyer and Evan Yardley.
"That's a crop of hookers who are all hungry and want to wear the Ospreys jersey and that is a huge positive for us for the coming season.”
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