The focus switches from the PRO12 to European competition this Friday night when Aviva Premiership side Newcastle Falcons visit the Liberty Stadium for the first time.
- Friday night sees the opening game of the Ospreys' 2016/17 Challenge Cup campaign, against Newcastle Falcons at the Liberty Stadium
- The game is not televised so you have to be there to see it
- French sides Lyon and Grenoble also drawn in Pool 2
It is the opening weekend of the 2016/17 European Rugby Challenge Cup, with the Ospreys and Newcastle drawn together in Pool 2 along with French sides Grenoble and Lyon.
The campaign kicks off at the Liberty Stadium on Friday night, 14th October, at 7.05pm. This game is NOT being televised so the only way you can watch it is to be at the Liberty, supporting the cause in person.
WHO ARE THEY?
Newcastle Falcons were established in 1877 and played under the name of Gosforth Football Club until 1990. The name was then changed to Newcastle Gosforth and the club began to play at Kingston Park stadium in Kingston Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. At the start of the professional era the club adopted its current name of Newcastle Falcons.
They have one Premiership success to their name, pipping Saracens to the title in 1997-98.
HOW DO I GET TICKETS?
Tickets are available to buy from the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office 10am-6pm daily.
Alternatively, you can buy online 24/7 at www.ospreysrugby.com/buytickets - tickets start at just £20 for adults, £5 for kids.
The Falcons currently sit in sixth place in the Premiership table with three wins and three defeats to date.
Having defeated Sale Sharks 19-17 on the opening day of the season, the Falcons were on the wrong end of a 58-5 thumping at the hands of early season pace setters Bath in Round 2.
They secured a losing bonus point at home to Leicester Tigers the following weekend, going down 13-14, before picking up a second win of the season, an 18-13 victory on the road, against Gloucester.
Round 5 saw the Falcons pick up another losing bonus point in an 11-9 away defeat at the hands of Worcester Warriors. Most recently they raced into a 19-0 half-time lead at home to Bristol and seemed set for a five try bonus point victory only to be pegged back after the break and having to settle for a 19-14 win.
LAST YEAR IN EUROPE
Drawn with Brive, Connacht and Enisey-STM, the Falcons finished second in Pool 1, just missing out in a spot in the quarter-finals.
They won all three home games, losing the three away fixtures, to finish on 16 points, three behind pool winners, Connacht.
Quarter Finalists in the 2014/15 Challenge Cup, the Falcons have reached the semi-final of this competition on four separate occasions, 1997/98, 2000/1, 2005/6 and 2007/08.
HAVE WE MET BEFORE?
Just the once in an LV Cup tie at their Kingston Park home on Saturday 6th November, 2010.
A Gareth Owen try and four penalties from Matthew Morgan on his debut weren’t enough for the Ospreys to secure the win, the Falcons coming out on top, 18-17.
In addition to Morgan making his debut, this game saw Ben John making his first Ospreys start, while the line-up also included a host of youngsters now established as senior figures at the region, with James King, Justin Tipuric, Rhys Webb and Ashley Beck all starting.
You can read a full match report from the evening here
THEY PLAYED FOR BOTH TEAMS
James Goode, Filipo Levi and James Spice