Hook has a huge decision to make : Bennett

Former Wales fly-half Phil Bennett believes James Hook has some tough decisions on his rugby future after being linked with a move away from the Ospreys.

Hook has made it clear that he wants to play fly half but is having to play second fiddle to Dan Biggar at the Ospreys and with Wales to Stephen Jones.

In the November Internationals Hook was forced to fill in for Wales at fullback and the 24-year-old has now been linked with Cardiff Blues and Perpignan.

“He’s got some huge decisions to make: the money side of it and moving abroad to Perpignan,” Bennett told BBC Wales.

“The problem is James has played at number 10 for most of his young life and he probably loves playing at number 10 – it’s the glamour position.

“Now perhaps he has to accept that with Daniel Biggar there for the Ospreys and with Stephen Jones there for Wales that he might have to concentrate on another position.

“Frankly, he is a rare talent. He has got to be in the team somewhere. I’d love to see him around that area of the number 10.

“If he is not playing number 10 I’d love to see him as the creative inside centre which many great New Zealand sides always had.”

Bennett has also questioned whether a big move for money would suit Hook even though he cannot move immediately as he has 16 months left on his Ospreys contract.

“He has just had a young child. Is it the right time to move to Perpignan?”

“The way of life is outstanding but is it the right time for a young family to move out there?” added Bennett, who won 29 caps for Wales.

“I would love James Hook to stay in Wales. That’s on a personal view, not looking at James Hook’s side of it.

“When I have watched Cardiff Blues recently and they are no great shakes at number 10. Would he move to the Blues? Would the Ospreys allow him to move to the Blues? They (the Ospreys) would be loathe to lose him.

“It’s very difficult for James Hook because Biggar at the moment, and this is coming from the Ospreys staff, controls the game, He has the confidence and has the ability to read a game.

“James has been excellent for Wales against some of the international, but when you look back to those thrashings when the Ospreys got murdered in Munster and lost badly to Saracens, people are saying that James isn’t controlling games at that level.

“Warren Gatland must love James Hook because he can play full-back, outside centre, inside centre, and fly-half when needed, and (like me) being an ex-outside half you want to play number 10. You want to be in charge of all proceedings.

“It’s a massive decision and let’s hope he does the best for himself, his family and Welsh rugby.”

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