Sean Holley has urged the Ospreys players to enjoy what he describes as 'firecracker of a game' when the Scarlets visit the Liberty Stadium on Saturday (6.30pm KO) for the first Welsh derby of the season.
The Ospreys go into the fixture sitting at the top of the formative RaboDirect PRO12 table with six wins from seven games, and having not lost to the Scarlets in the last six fixtures, but Holley has warned that previous form will count for nothing this weekend:
“It’s a big game, there’ll be a big crowd, a big occasion” said the Ospreys Head Coach.
“It’s always pretty much a firecracker of a game and it’s perhaps good to have that a week before we kick off the Heineken Cup against Biarritz.
“It’s a massive challenge. Outside of Europe, for our fans and players, it's probably our biggest game of the season. We’ve got five of our Welsh internationals available and it happens to be the Scarlets which we see as a big plus. The international players coming back are true Ospreys. It's a big game which players all want to play in, and as important as it is itself, it will be really good preparation for Biarritz the week after. We're looking forward to it. They are experienced players in the team, they should go out there and enjoy it, savour the atmosphere.
“We know that we have to move up several notches from last week, that the intensity of a derby match and then the Heineken Cup will really ask questions of us, but I think we’re in a good place going into this period of the season. Previous results will be irrelevant, the wins over the Scarlets are history, it’s about what we do on the day, and we know that we will be coming up against a good team with good players across the pitch who will come here believing they can win the game.
“That’s why we’ve got to get our preparation right and make sure that as a team, we know what we have to do. It’s important that our returning players are able to get straight back onto the saddle, immerse themselves back into the Ospreys way, and focus on what they have to do now in an Ospreys shirt.
“It’s going to be a fantastic rugby occasion, we can’t wait."