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Holley backs Beck for Wales

Ospreys head coach Sean Holley has backed Ashley Beck to secure a place in Wales' RBS 6 Nations squad after the centre grabbed a brace in their six-try 44-17 Heineken Cup Pool Five victory over Treviso at the Liberty Stadium.

Beck, 21, continued his outstanding form with another man-of-the-match performance in the Ospreys midfield as they kept alive their slim hopes of reaching the quarter-finals. The Academy product showed a combination of strength and intelligence in claiming his two tries and his subtle offloading and sharp footwork mark him out as arguably the form number 12 in Wales.

"It is someone else's decision, but Ashley is doing all he can to apply pressure," said Holley.

"If you look at the 12s around the county he has to be up there, he showed a lot of class tonight. I have known Ashley for seven or eight years and he has grown in confidence and it shows. I hope he gets the call but I think it's only a matter of time."

Beck's brace helped the Ospreys on their way to securing a winning bonus point for the first time this season, with two penalty tries and further scores from Tommy Bowe and Kahn Fotuali'i completing the rout as Dan Biggar kicked 12 points with the boot.

While the win keeps the Ospreys in the hunt for qualification, they are paying the price for results earlier in the campaign, when a draw in Treviso and back-to-back defeats against Saracens left them facing an uphill struggle to advance to the knockout stages.

And despite Friday night's success they will need to win in Biarritz in their final game and for other results to go their way to have any hope of progressing.

But Holley was pleased with the application his players had shown after a difficult recent period that has seen them lose four of their last five games, and director of coaching Scott Johnson announce he is to leave at the end of the season to take up a role with Scotland.

He said: "I have been pleased with how the players applied themselves all week. We tweaked things a bit to try and play with more movement and the guys responded positively to it and got their rewards.

"We could have got more tries over, but that's been the story of our season, we lacked clinical edge at the end but I am pleased we have got over the line as many times as we have and it was a deserved victory."


From Belfast Telegraph