Ospreys: Alun Wyn Jones and George North set for Christmas return

Alun Wyn Jones and George North in action for Wales
Alun Wyn Jones and George North last played at the World Cup in Japan

Ospreys will get Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones back for Christmas, along with wing George North.

Both will play in the holiday derby matches, but probably not against the Blues on 21 December.

It means struggling Ospreys will face Racing 92 in two European Champions Cup matches without the Wales pair.

Justin Tipuric, who captained Wales against Barbarians in Jones' absence, will also miss the Racing 92 games, according to backs coach Matt Sherratt.

Ospreys - who lost their opening European matches against Munster and Saracens - face Racing in Swansea on 7 December and in Paris on 13 December.

Sherratt is looking after coaching alongside forwards coach Carl Hogg following Allen Clarke's removal as head coach last week.

The region say Clarke is still an employee but is not in charge of rugby matters.

Sherratt said he knew nothing more on the matter, adding "I know as much as you guys do at the moment. We can't concentrate too much on that."

However, he said the region's lengthy injury list - which includes some of Wales' highest-profile players - should improve soon.

Jones and North will appear over the holiday period when they face Blues on 21 December, Scarlets on Boxing Day and Dragons on 4 January.

"I'm not sure if it will be the first derby but I think we should have a pretty healthy squad in terms of the short-term injury guys around the time of the derbies," he said.

Jones (groin) and North (hamstring) returned from the World Cup with injuries, but Tipuric led Wales in Wayne Pivac's first game in charge on 30 November.

However, Sherratt says the flanker will not return "in the next two to three weeks".

Ospreys have lost eight out of nine competitive games this season and lie sixth in Conference A in the Pro14.

Sherratt, who leaves in the summer a year before the end of his contract, believes the region can still turn their season around.

"Last year we were written off around Six Nations time and then went seven wins on the bounce," he said.

"We need to work hard and stay as positive as we can. At the moment we just need that win."