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Wales wait on Ospreys URC title bid

Jack Morgan and Nicky Smith on duty for Ospreys
Jac Morgan (L) is set for a busy summer with Wales while Nicky Smith will move to Leicester [Huw Evans Agency]

Wales head coach Warren Gatland says he will adapt plans if Ospreys reach the United Rugby Championship (URC) final.

Gatland has named a 36-man training squad that includes six Ospreys players for the match against world champions South Africa at Twickenham on 22 June.

That is the same date as the URC final with Ospreys travelling to play Munster in the quarter-final play-offs in Limerick on Friday night.

If Toby Booth's side upset the defending champions they will face a trip to play Glasgow or Stormers in the semi-finals the following weekend.

Gatland also has non Wales-based club players unavailable for the Twickenham match because the fixture falls outside World Rugby's international window.

This means Gatland will struggle to have 23 players in their correct positions available to play from his current squad against the Springboks, should Ospreys reach the URC final.

"We'll take things one step at a time," said Gatland.

"That's a decision we'll have to make and see what happens with them. Hopefully they go all the way and we'll have to look at bringing some other players in.

"If they win that quarter-final and go onto that semi-final and final we'll have to think who we replace those players with. Fingers crossed they do get that opportunity to go as far as they can.

"They probably didn't think they'd get to this stage, so it's great for them."

Why some Ospreys players are overlooked

Ospreys have claimed 14 victories in 24 matches this season, winning more games than the other three regions Cardiff, Scarlets and Dragons put together.

While locks Adam Beard and Rhys Davies are injured, in-form Ospreys such like Morgan Morris, Nicky Smith, James Ratti, Reuben Morgan-Williams and Keiran Williams have again been overlooked by Gatland.

The Wales coach acknowledges the Ospreys' success, but has also marked recent 60-point losses against the Bulls and Leinster.

"When we look at performances, we look at players and what we can do in terms of developing them," said Gatland.

"We don't always look at club performances... and sometimes we look at club performances against big teams when they're fully loaded.

"You talk about the Ospreys and it was a good win for them on the weekend (against Cardiff).

"But you look at games when they played against the Bulls and Leinster when they were fully loaded and we make those sort of comparisons."

Prop Smith, who was named player-of-the-match against Cardiff with a two-try display, leaves Ospreys for Leicester in the summer.

The 30-year-old has won 46 Wales caps, but Gatland has decided to stick with his three Six Nations loose-head props, Gareth Thomas, Corey Domachowski and Kemsley Mathias.

"Nicky has done all right," said Gatland.

"It's about continuity in selection in a number of positions.

"We know what Nicky can do, and with some of those players we want to keep them in the squad and develop them."

Uncapped number eight Morris is one of the most consistent performers in the regional game, but has not been selected with Aaron Wainwright and Mackenzie Martin the specialist number eights included.

Gatland says Morris' defensive work must improve.

"It's not just the attack stuff, it's both sides of the ball we look at," said Gatland.

"When we go through the videos with players, it's not just the stuff we look at around the ball, we look at things off the ball.

"He's had some really good games for the Ospreys, we've got a lot of players in those positions as well.

"For him, it is about working and making sure he does do things on both sides of the ball, not just from an attacking perspective."