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Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Ospreys praise Henson-clone Owen

Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea Date: Friday, 30 October Kick-off: 1905 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC TWO Wales & online (*not available on Freeview), highlights on Sunday's Scrum V

Gareth Owen
Physically as much as anything [Gareth] reminds me so much of Gavin, he's the olive kid

Ospreys coach Scott Johnson

Coach Scott Johnson has compared Gareth Owen to Gavin Henson as the youngster prepares to take the Ospreys fly-half jersey for the league visit of Glasgow.

"Physically as much as anything he reminds me so much of Gavin," he said.

"[Gareth's] the olive kid, well-built, a great athlete. He's probably a bit more explosive than Gav, to be honest.

"You can't put in what God left out and he stood at the front of the queue for athletes' gifts. He's got an amazing turn of speed and physical presence."

Bridgend-born Owen, 20, was snapped up by the Ospreys two years ago after he also attracted Guinness Premiership interest, and the Maesteg RFC product has been capped by Wales at age-group level.

Owen is poised to start at outside-half against the Warriors with 10 Ospreys players with the Wales squad, including first-choice stand-offs Dan Biggar and James Hook.


"You don't have to be a rocket science to work out that if no-one's left [Owen will start there]," said Johnson.

"[But] we're still trying to find out his best position.

"He's a different personality to Dan Biggar or Stephen Jones or [someone] like that.

"Watch him in the [Welsh] Premiership, he does an unbelievable job at fly-half, he's an unbelievable athlete.

"We've just got to work out if his personality suits that position, in the modern game [fly-half] comes under a great deal of scrutiny and pressure.

"You've got to have the mental attributes to want to do that as well as the physical attributes.

"We're just trying to decide if he's a 10, 12 or 13... he's very fortunate, he can play a lot of them.

We've got some special talent that lies underneath this [senior] group

Scott Johnson

"We're just trying to find a home for him, he's only a kid and we don't want to ruin him.

"He's a talented lad, in a few years time Wales will get a very, very good quality Test player, I'm sure."

Johnson still hopes that some of his 10 Wales squad members will be released to the region for the weekend, but he also sees the Glasgow game as the chance to showcase emerging Ospreys talent.

"[The Wales management] make the decisions [on player release], we haven't worried about it," said Johnson.

"At the moment we would like to get one or two back, we're down to the bare bones.

"Hopefully in the next three-to-four weeks we might see some of the new wave of kids coming through.

"We've got some special talent that lies underneath this [senior] group.

"They're only kids, but the like of which I haven't seen since my tenure here, they're pretty special."

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see also
Ospreys 9-9 Glasgow Warriors
30 Oct 09 |  Welsh
Henson wanted leave to be unpaid
28 Oct 09 |  Welsh
Ospreys' injury worries are eased
15 Sep 08 |  Ospreys
Ospreys sign young fly-half Owen
25 Jun 07 |  Ospreys
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
Heineken Cup
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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