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Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Monday, 15 November 2010

James Hook offered 'unprecedented' deal by Ospreys

James Hook
James Hook won his 45th Wales cap in the defeat to South Africa

Ospreys head coach Sean Holley claims the region did everything in their financial powers to keep James Hook at the Liberty Stadium.

Holley said the region offered Hook an "unprecedented" financial package.

Hook has yet to sign elsewhere but French trio Perpignan, Toulouse and Toulon are thought to be interested.

"We put an extremely lucrative offer into James. Unprecedented. These days if you want the best you have to pay top dollar," said Holley.

"And fair play to our board they would have significantly pushed the boat out for James."

The Ospreys have already lost Hook and Gavin Henson, who has signed for Saracens. Lee Byrne is another player who is rumoured to be on his way out but Holley believes he is content at the region.

"Lee is contracted [until] 2012 with us. He is an Ospreys player. He is clearly happy here. He has stated that he is happy here," insisted the coach.

"He produces some excellent performances for the Ospreys. I can't speculate or say anything about that because at the moment he is currently an Ospreys player and that's where I hope he will remain."

But Holley knows that his star players like 25-year-old Hook, who told the region on 2 November he would be leaving at the end of the 2010/2011 season, are going to attract attention from the big money clubs.

"All quality players are tagged and monitored. There are some big market forces out there now particularly out in France," he added.

"And James is at that stage where he wants to look after his family. He wants to pit himself in a different environment and we have to accept that.

Unfortunately market forces have driven him to something else

Sean Holley

"It wasn't for the want of trying, but at the same time you have to understand James' decision and now we have got to get the best out of him for the rest of the season and I'm sure he would give 100% for us.

"Unfortunately market forces have driven him to something else. It's really unfortunate but we have to understand his decision.

"It's something a couple of other Welsh players have decided to do in the recent past but they have come back.

"Our only hope is that he has enjoyed it at his home so much that if he chooses to come back he'll come back to the Ospreys.

"We wanted an early decision from James so that we could plan and prepare for the future with the World Cup year coming up. Thankfully he did that which allows us now to move on and find a a replacement."

Hear the Holley interview in BBC Radio Wales Sport bulletin at 1830 GMT today.

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see also
Fly-half desire 'fuels' Hook move
03 Nov 10 |  Ospreys
Wales star Hook to leave Ospreys
02 Nov 10 |  Ospreys
'Delighted' Henson joins Saracens
28 Oct 10 |  Saracens
Hook 'may have to leave Ospreys'
05 Oct 09 |  Ospreys
Hook to decide on Ospreys future
13 Oct 10 |  Ospreys
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union

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