The Ospreys team to face Gloucester in the EDF Energy Cup Semi-Final on Saturday 28th March 2009 at the Ricoh Arena, kick off at 2.30pm, will be as follows:-The Ospreys team to face Gloucester in the EDF Energy Cup on Saturday 28th March 2009 at the Ricoh Arena, kick off at 2.30pm, will be as follows:-
15 Gavin Henson14 Tommy Bowe13 Sonny Parker12 Andrew Bishop11 Shane Williams10 James Hook9 Jamie Nutbrown 1 Paul James2 Richard Hibbard3 Adam Jones4 Ian Gough5 Andy Lloyd6 Tom Smith7 Marty Holah8 Ryan Jones (C) 16 Huw Bennett17 Cai Griffiths18 Alun-Wyn Jones19 Filo Tiatia20 Mike Phillips21 Dan Biggar22 Jonathan Spratt Ospreys Head Coach Sean Holley commented:
"Saturday's game marks the start of a huge month for us as we look to keep alive our involvement in three competitions. It's going to be a difficult period in terms of rugby, but it's an exciting time, everything we've done as group over the last eight months or so has been geared towards being in contention on three fronts come the end of March, and here we are.
"We welcome back almost a whole team of players who have been away on international duty, and that has certainly made selection for this match interesting. This week has been about reintegrating these players; it's not an easy task but its something that we have been used to at the Ospreys over the last few seasons. Such is the culture that we have established here, that the players know what is expected of them, they know what the Ospreys mindset is and they are able to deal with a difficult situation very professionally.
"We have fantastic memories of the EDF Energy Cup, it has provided us with two great days out at Twickenham, and importantly, it has put us on the map when it comes to English rugby and the media. We are proud of our status as current holders of the EDF Energy Cup, beating Leicester made a lot of people sit up and take notice. With the tournament coming to an end in its current guise, it would be fantastic if we can go out and make it a hat-trick of Twickenham appearances and bring the trophy back to the Liberty Stadium for keeps."
The following players were not considered because of injury: Lee Byrne suffered damage to a ligament in his left foot that forced him to leave the field against Ireland last weekend. In addition to Saturday's game, he has been ruled out of the Ulster match next weekend, but with intensive treatment we remain hopeful that he could be up and running for the Heineken Cupquarter final against Munster on the 12th of April. Jonathan Thomas has suffered a recurrence of a groin problem which has left him unable to take part in training this week.Following specialist consultation this week ithas beenconcluded that it is in Jonathan's best interests to commence a period of relative rest in orderto facilitate full resolution of the problem and permit a problem free return totraining and playing. Duncan Jones remains unavailable butis making great strides forward in his rehab following foot surgery. With continued progress we could see him back and available for selection towards the end of Aprilorearly May. Ben Lewis and Ian Evans are both recovering from ACL reconstructive surgery. Both players are achieving their targets and remain on course to be fully fit and available for the start of next season. Nikki Walker- is also doing well following surgery to repair his left hamstring origin, he won't feature again this season but will be fit for the start of pre season training. Lyndon Bateman is still in the early stages of his recovery following knee surgery and will return next season. Kristian Phillips has unergone surgery this week to repair the damage sustained folllwing the shoulder dislocation he suffered against Leinster. He will require a 5-6 month recovery and rehabilitation process and will be targeting a return for the start of next season.
Forthcoming fixtures are as follows: Friday 3rd April " Ulster V Ospreys " Magners League " Ravenhill " 7.35pm Sunday 12th April " Munster V Ospreys " Heineken Cup Quarter-Final " Thomond Park " 1.00pm
All fixtures are subject to change