Mitchell set for first Liberty start

Tighthead Craig Mitchell will make his long awaited first Liberty Stadium start for the Ospreys against Leinster tonight (KO 7.05pm).

The 23 year-old has started just the one game for the region, away to Edinburgh last November, and although he has six appearances to his credit since making his debut as a late replacement against Borders in a home game back in February 2006 while still a teenager, he has yet to feature in the starting line-up at the Ospreys nest prior to tonight.

With Wales and British Lions tighthead Adam Jones unlikely to return from injury before December, Mitchell knows that he if he is going to make the number three shirt his own in the coming months he has to make an impact against Leinster.  He said:

“I’m excited about getting a chance to start a game at home. It’s been a long wait, I’ve been with th Ospreys for four years, but I’m looking forward to taking this chance tonight with both hands. With Adam out injured I’ve been hoping to get some game time and my chance is here now so I’ve got to take it, and show the coaches what I can do.

"I’ve cracked on in training, worked hard and this is the real test. I want to be playing regularly now, so I know what I’ve got to do, I’ve got to show my ability and make an impact, make the coaches sit up and take notice of me. Leinster are quality team the have great players right through the team and I know that I’m going up against experienced players in the front row but if I want to be in the team it’s up to me to show what I can do at this level.”