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Page last updated at 06:21 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 07:21 UK

Hook considered as Byrne stand-in

James Hook
James Hook was a Grand Slam winner with Wales in 2008

Frustrated fly-half James Hook may be considered at full-back by the Ospreys and Wales after Lee Byrne's injury.

Byrne's niggling foot injury rules him out for at least six weeks, making Hook a full-back option for the Ospreys against Clermont Auvergne on Sunday.

"You want to get your best players on the field," said Ospreys coach Sean Holley. "James is a very versatile player and able to play [at 15]."

Hook recently stressed his commitment to the Ospreys after links with France.

The 24-year-old has repeatedly stated he prefers playing at fly-half, but has lost the Wales 10 jersey to Stephen Jones and the Ospreys spot to Dan Biggar.

In the summer Wales caretaker coach Robin McBryde said Hook's best position had not been settled, the Ospreys having used him at full-back in the past and also outside and inside centre.

Hook appeared in the number 12 jersey last weekend in the Ospreys' 32-32 Heineken Cup draw at Leicester as Biggar won their selection debate.


"At the moment, in fairness to Dan, he's playing well at 10 and I'm doing all right at 12 as well," said Hook.

"At the end of the day, I can say where I'd prefer to play, but I'm not in a position where I can tell the coaches where to pick me.

"It's a long season, there are lots of games still to be played, and maybe I'll get another chance at 10.

"If I do, it's up to me to take the opportunities and make it difficult for the coaches to pick Dan ahead of me."

Hook could be set for another position, though, having moved from centre to replace Byrne at Leicester when the full-back went off injured.

"James did very well there when Lee went off and he's got some experience [at full-back]," said Holley.

Lee Byrne
Byrne's injury creates a 15 dilemma for Ospreys and Wales

"We've got a few options there. Barry Davies is an experienced, proven international full-back who has played a couple of seasons in France, he's a strong candidate, and there's Gareth Owen."

Hook, Davies and Owen could all be in contention for the Wales 15 jersey ahead of the first autumn Test, against New Zealand on 7 November.

Jamie Roberts, Leigh Halfpenny, Dan Evans, Martyn Thomas and Jason Tovey are other potential candidates, with Morgan Stoddart still injured.

Hook, whose partner, Kim, is expecting their first baby in December, insists that there is no substance to rumours of him moving from the Ospreys.

"I can't stress enough that I'm happy here, I've grown up here and been a part of this region since I was a youngster, and it's a great place to be.

I'm not going to go to the directors and say I want to go anywhere

James Hook

"It's nice to know that clubs are interested, it means that I must be doing something right, but I'm an Osprey and I'm happy where I am.

"I'm not going to go to the directors and say I want to go anywhere. I'm under contract here for another two years, so even if I were interested there'd be nothing I could do about it!

"When the right time comes to sit down and talk with them about a new contract I will. I'll just deal with that when it comes."

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see also
Ospreys 25-24 Clermont Auvergne
18 Oct 09 |  Welsh
Byrne out of Wales autumn Tests
14 Oct 09 |  Welsh
Hook happy at 12 claims Johnson
08 Oct 09 |  Ospreys
Hook 'may have to leave Ospreys'
05 Oct 09 |  Ospreys
Biggar sends 10 warning to Hook
17 Aug 09 |  Welsh
Hook told to take control at 10
05 Jun 09 |  Welsh
Hook's best position not settled
12 May 09 |  Welsh
Hook signs new Ospreys contract
31 Aug 07 |  Ospreys
Hook out to snare Wales 10 shirt
16 Nov 06 |  Welsh
NZ rate Hook in Carter's bracket
30 Nov 06 |  Welsh
Hook hailed as 'new Barry John'
15 Jun 06 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh

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