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Ospreys team to play Clermont Auvergne

Tandy names team for Sunday's European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 2 clash with Clermont Auvergne at Stade Marcel Michelin.

  • Just the one change to starting XV as Tom Grabham returns in place of Dafydd Howells who sustained a hamstring injury in last weekend's win over Exeter
  • Hanno Dirksen continues on the bench after stepping in as a late replacement last weekend for Ben John, who misses the game again due to illness
  • Rory Thornton in line for his European debut if he comes off the bench
  • The two teams have played each other four times in the European Cup previously with the home side winning on each occasion

The Ospreys team to play Clermont Auvergne at Stade Marcel Michelin on Sunday 22nd November 2015, KO 2.00pm (local), is as follows:

15 Dan Evans

14 Tom Grabham

13 Jonathan Spratt

12 Josh Matavesi

11 Eli Walker

10 Dan Biggar

9 Brendon Leonard

 

1 Paul James

2 Scott Baldwin

3 Dmitri Arhip

4 Lloyd Ashley

5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt)

6 Dan Lydiate

7 Justin Tipuric

8 James King

 

REPLACEMENTS

16 Sam Parry

17 Ryan Bevington

18 Aaron Jarvis

19 Rory Thornton

20 Dan Baker

21 Tom Habberfield

22 Sam Davies

23 Hanno Dirksen

 

Rory Thornton will make his European Cup debut if he comes off the bench

 

The following players were unavailable for selection due to injury:

 

Tyler Ardron Knee 

Adam Beard Shoulder

Ashley Beck ACL

Rynier Bernardo Ankle

Gareth Delve - Shoulder

Jeff Hassler Knee

Dafydd Howells - Hamstring

Ben John - Illness

Nicky Smith Ankle

Rhys Webb Foot

 

Ospreys Head Coach, Steve Tandy, said:

“It was crucial that we got the campaign off to a positive start and we did that last Sunday against a very good Exeter team. They came here full of confidence after the start they’ve had to the season and most people weren’t giving us much of a chance, but we got what we wanted from the game which is really pleasing.

“Within this environment we are always questioning each other, challenging what we do, and never more than the last month or so after what’s been a disappointing start to the season for many reasons. There’s been a lot of difficult questions asked of everybody and it’s been good to see a positive reaction.

“As pleasing as it was to get the win last Sunday in front of a noisy and passionate crowd, we aren’t falling into the trap of believing we’ve cracked it. That’s not the Ospreys way, we understand there’s a long way to go yet. Aspects of our game are going in the right direction but we have to keep working hard, day in day out, and then transfer what we do on the training ground into the match day consistently

“This weekend’s game is definitely one that will keep us grounded, if that was needed. We’re aware of how tough it’s going to be, of Clermont’s record at their ground, but these are the kinds of challenges that you have to enjoy as rugby players and coaches. There’s a few of the group have been there before and understand what kind of environment we are stepping into and they’ve told the rest of the squad that they should be excited about Sunday. It’s a youthful squad we’ve got but there is the experience of big games, tough environments and winning big games mixed in and that will stand us in good stead.

“We’ve prepared well this week and are heading to France confident that if we have clarity, if everybody knows their roles then we can cause them problems. Fail to hit the required standard, fall short in any area of our game, and it will be a long afternoon.”

 

Forthcoming Fixtures

Sat 28 Nov 3.00pm KO Ospreys v Cardiff Blues PRO12

Sun 6 Dec 3.00pm KO (Local) Zebre v Ospreys PRO12

Sat 12 Dec 5.15pm KO Ospreys v Bordeaux Begles ERCC

Sat 19 Dec 6.15pm KO (Local) Bordeaux Begles v Ospreys - ERCC

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