George North Ospreys

North returns for New Year derby against Dragons

The Ospreys have named their team to face the Dragons in round ten of the Guinness PRO14 at Rodney Parade on Saturday 4th January, K.O 3pm.

George North returns to the starting line up on the right wing for the first time since the Rugby World Cup, with fellow international Luke Morgan on the other wing and youngster Cai Evans at fullback once more. Scott Williams, having recovered from an injury sustained on Boxing Day, reforms the midfield partnership with Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler at inside and outside centre respectively. Luke Price gets the nod at outside half with Aled Davies starting at scrumhalf. 

Morgan Morris pulls on the number eight jersey, while Olly Cracknell starts again on the blindside and captain Justin Tipuric will lead the side from the openside position. There's no change in the second row either, with Adam Beard and Bradley Davies providing the power in the boiler room. Nicky Smith and Ma'afu Fia pack down at loosehead and tighthead respectively, while Sam Parry returns to the starting XV having shaken off an ankle injury sustained against Connacht back in early November. 

On the bench, new signing Darryl Marfo is set to make his Ospreys debut, while Scott Otten and Simon Gardiner complete the three front row replacements. Dan Lydiate and Sam Cross provide a dynamic addition to the pack from the bench. South African Shaun Venter is named as the scrumhalf replacement, while Marty McKenzie covers the outside half position. Hanno Dirksen returns from injury to cover the back three.

Starting XV:
15. Cai Evans
14. George North
13. Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler
12. Scott Williams
11. Luke Morgan
10. Luke Price 
9. Aled Davies 

1.Nicky Smith
2. Sam Parry
3. Ma'afu Fia
4. Adam Beard
5. Bradley Davies
6. Olly Cracknell
7. Justin Tipuric ©
8. Morgan Morris 

16. Scott Otten
17. Darryl Marfo
18. Simon Gardiner
19. Dan Lydiate
20. Sam Cross
21. Shaun Venter
22. Marty McKenzie
23. Hanno Dirksen  

The following players were unavailable for selection due to injury:
Gareth Anscombe
Harri Morgan
Cory Allen  
James King
Rhys Henry
Ben Glynn
Will Griffiths
Keelan Giles 
Gareth Evans
Tom Botha
Dan Baker
Owen Watkin
Gareth Thomas
Rhodri Jones
Alun Wyn Jones
Kieran Williams 

Upcoming Fixtures:
Saturday 11th January - 1pm - Ospreys v Saracens, Liberty Stadium.
Sunday 19th January - 1pm - Munster v Ospreys, Thomond Park.