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Ospreys team to face Leinster

By Ospreys Rugby | 28/05/2010

The Ospreys team to play Leinster on Saturday 29th April 2010 in the Magners League Grand Final at the RDS, kick off at 6.30pm, will be as follows:-

15 Lee Byrne
14 Tommy Bowe
13 Andrew Bishop
12 James Hook
11 Shane Williams
10 Dan Biggar
9 Mike Phillips

1 Paul James
2 Huw Bennett
3 Adam Jones
4 Alun Wyn Jones
5 Jonathan Thomas
6 Jerry Collins
7 Marty Holah
8 Ryan Jones (Capt)

Replacements:
16 Ed Shervington
17 Ryan Bevington
18 Ian Gough
19 Filo Tiatia
20 Jamie Nutbrown
21 Gareth Owen
22 Nikki Walker

The following players were not considered because of injury:

Ross Davies - fractured ankle/ligament damage
Duncan Jones - broken bone in foot
Lyndon Bateman - knee
Barry Davies - groin
Richard Hibbard - knee
Tom Isaacs - knee

Ospreys Head Coach, Sean Holley, commented:

"After nine months of hard work, it all boils down to Saturday evening at the RDS. First v second for the Magners League title, it should be a wonderful occasion and a great advert for Magners League rugby. With the two teams contesting the Grand Final being the ones who finished in the top two places, the Play-Off system has obviously worked, and we honestly can't wait for Saturday.

"Everybody is raring to go. It's what we've worked towards all season, so I understand what people say when they ask will Saturday's game define our season. We've got a proud history in the Magners League, like Leinster we've won it twice and I guess like them again, we want to be the first team to win it three times. It would be a fantastic reward for the hard work put in by all the squad, coaching staff, and the back office team over the course of the season, but we realise that standing in our way is one of the European giants who have the same ambitions as us.

"We've planned our preparation for the game well, we've broken it up for the boys over the last few weeks and we believe that the 22 going into the game are in pretty good shape. We've had two weeks to prepare for this one since the Glasgow game and we've mixed it up a bit, last week the boys were in for a couple of days after a bit of rest, and this week we've stepped it up again but I've got to say they are looking fresh, excited and up for the challenge. Over the last month or so we've been able to build up a bit of momentum and they've got the bit between their teeth.

"We've had ups and downs this season but I think we've grown as a team and as an organisation over this period. Probably the defining time for us was the tour of Ireland after the Biarritz game, it allowed us to come together and refocus, to plan for the rest of the campaign and set our targets. It was a great decision to approach that period in the way we did, and for that, as coaches we are thankful to the Directors for their support. The players have shown good character, using that week as a springboard to push us on into the Grand Final. Winning in Ulster and Munster was just what we needed, but wouldn't have counted for anything if we hadn't been able to come home and build on that with a win over the Dragons, followed by last week's result against Glasgow.

"Last week's game against Glasgow was a physical, intense battle, probably as hard as any game we've been involved in, and we stood up to the challenge, but we will have to step up another level if we are going to end the season with silverware. Leinster have that winning mentality, they have quality across the pitch and have shown in recent seasons exactly what they are capable of. Their front row has come of age, in midfield they have players like Nacewa and O'Driscoll, and like Dan Biggar for us, Jonathan Sexton has grown this season in a position which probably was something that was lacking for them after Contepomi left. They've got all round class and ability, we know that. But, our preparation hasn't been all about what they can offer, we've been working hard to make sure our own house is in order and I'm sure they've done the same."

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