FLASHBACK - Ospreys name team to challenge Leinster for the PRO12 title in Dublin

Ospreys supporters have every reason to be optimistic ahead of Saturday’s final against Leinster. The Welsh region stormed to an emphatic 45-10 victory over Munster in the semi-final at the Liberty two weeks prior; and they’ll be going head to head with the table-toppers who will enjoy a home advantage at the RDS Arena.

Ospreys make just one change to their starting XV, with Rhys Webb starting at scrum-half while Kahn Fotuali’i drops to the bench. There’s no change in the replacements either, giving the Ospreys a strong option in the latter stages of the game.

Richard Fussell remains at fullback with Hanno Dirksen and Shane Williams, who will be hoping to sign off his Ospreys career with style, on each wing. Andrew Bishop and Ashley Beck line up in the midfield once more and will be playing outside Dan Biggar at outside half, who landed four conversions, four penalties, and a try to claim 25 points in the previous round. Both Rhys Webb and Kahn Fotuali’i crossed the whitewash against Munster, but it’s the former who gets the nod this weekend.

There are no changes in the pack, with the fearsome front row combination of Paul James, Richard Hibbard, and Adam Jones rearing to go up front. In the boiler room is none other than captain Alun Wyn Jones and his fellow international lock, Ian Evans. The back row is the envy of modern rugby, with Ryan Jones packing down on the blindside, Justin Tipuric on the openside, and big Joe Bearman at number eight.

If the Ospreys can replicate the result of two years ago, when they defeated Leinster 12-17 in the Final, the Welsh region will be crowned league champions for the fourth time. Romain Poite of France will be the man with the whistle on Saturday.

Ospreys starting XV to face Leinster

15. Richard Fussell

14. Hanno Dirksen

13. Andrew Bishop

12. Ashley Beck

11. Shane Williams

10. Dan Biggar

9. Rhys Webb


1. Paul James

2. Richard Hibbard

3. Adam Jones

4. Alun Wyn Jones (capt)

5. Ian Evans

6. Ryan Jones

7. Justin Tipuric

8. Joe Bearman



16. Scott Baldwin

17. Ryan Bevington

18. Aaron Jarvis

19. James King

20. Tom Smith

21. Kahn Fotuali’i

22. Matthew Morgan

23. Tom Isaacs


Joe Schmidt has also named his Leinster side hoping to claim victory at home:

15. Rob Kearney

14. Fergus McFadden

13. Brian O’Driscoll

12. Gordon D’Arcy

11. Isa Nacewa

10. Jonathan Sexton

9. Eoin Reddan

1. Heinke van der Merwe

2. Sean Cronin

3. Mike Ross

4. Leo Cullen (capt)

5. Devin Toner

6. Kevin McLaughlin

7. Shane Jennings

8. Jamie Heaslip

Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Cian Healy, John Cooney, Nathan White, Dominc Ryan, Brad Thorn, Ian Madigan, Dave Kearney

Catch a re-run of the 2011-12 PRO12 Final between Leinster and Ospreys this Saturday on our Facebook page at 5:45pm.