The Ospreys team to face Connacht in the Magners League on Friday 4th May 2009 at The Sports Ground, kick off at 7.00pm, will be as follows:-
16 Huw Bennett
17 Paul James
18 Tom Smith
19 Filo Tiatia
20 Tom Isaacs
21 James Hook
22 Jonathan Spratt
Barry Davies and Jerry Collins make their competitive debuts for the Ospreys after signing for the region this summer, as will Tom Isaacs if he comes off the bench
The following players were not considered because of injury:
Jamie Nutbrown is unavailable for selection this week after sustaining a dislocated finger in training last week, we remain optimistic about his prospects of being available for the next home fixture against Ulster on the 12th Sept and a final decision will be made by the middle of next week.
A number of our longer term injured players are nearing the end of their rehabilitation process, Jonathan Thomas and Kristian Phillips will be ready for game time over the course of the next week or two with Ian Evans and Ed Shervington just a couple of weeks behind, and hopeful of being back on the field by the end of the month. Shane Williams is also not too far off and will be available for selection before the end of September.
Conor McInerney will have to wait a little bit longer to make his Ospreys debut after failing to recover from a bone bruise to his right knee sustained towards the end of last season with Leinster. He underwent keyhole surgery to his knee last week, and we're looking at approximately a 4 month rehabilitation process to get him back to full fitness.
Lyndon Bateman also remains sidelined after dislocating his right patella at the end of January 09, he's been working hard but requires further minor surgery to help him progress on to the next stage in his rehabilitation.
Ospreys Head Coach Sean Holley commented:
“After the hard work of pre-season, and some good performances and results in our two fixtures against Guinness Premiership opposition, everybody at the Ospreys is looking forward to starting the real business of the Magners League this Friday. We realise that we aren’t the finished article at this moment and that we need to keep working and improving week-on-week, but spirits are good in the camp after a good pre-season and we are raring to go.
“Our first opponents Connacht are really tough customers, and will provide a real test for us. They’ve certainly improved their style of play in the last year or two. Michael Bradley has had them for a long time now and he’s moved his squad in a slightly different direction.
“The Sports Ground isn’t an easy place to play, but having said that, when you look down our squad sheet for the weekend, we’re in good shape. We’ve got a squad that is pretty healthy compared to last season, with some additions. We’ve had a great pre-season, I’d go as far as to say the best in the seven years that I’ve been at the Ospreys now, it’s been hard work and it’s been enjoyable. There’s an air of determination around, so we’ve got to be confident going there.
“Mike and James are the first Lions players to return to action. Mike only played half a season last year, and James didn’t play as much rugby as some of the others in the Six Nations and Lions tour. We’ve looked at it, and felt that those two, of the Lions, along with Ryan, are ready to get into the fray. How long they will both play is yet to be seen, but we wanted to get them integrated as soon as possible, at the appropriate time, as will be the case with our other Lions.”
Saturday 12th September - Ospreys V Ulster - Magners League - Liberty Stadium - 6.30pm
Friday 18th September - Ospreys V Leinster - Magners League - Liberty Stadium - 7.05pm
Friday 25th September - Glasgow V Ospreys - Magners League - Firhill - 7.05pm
Sunday 4th October - Ospreys V Edinburgh - Magners League - Liberty Stadium - 4.00pm