Ospreys team to face Cardiff Blues

The Ospreys team to face Cardiff Blues in the Magners League on Friday 1st January 2010 at Liberty Stadium, kick off at 5.15pm, will be as follows:-

15 Lee Byrne
14 Tommy Bowe
13 Sonny Parker
12 Andrew Bishop
11 Nikki Walker
10 Dan Biggar
9 Ricky Januarie

1 Paul James
2 Richard Hibbard
3 Adam Jones
4 Ian Gough
5 Jonathan Thomas
6 Jerry Collins
7 Marty Holah
8 Ryan Jones (Capt)

16 Huw Bennett
17 Cai Griffiths
18 Ian Evans
19 Filo Tiatia
20 Jamie Nutbrown
21 Jonathan Spratt
22 Gareth Owen

Ospreys Director of Coaching, Scott Johnson, commented:

“With another massive derby match coming up straight away, it’s the perfect chance for us to work on the areas of concern that we have after the Scarlets game, and to focus on taking us up to the next level. We realise the size of the challenge on Friday if we are going to make it two wins from two in the derbies. Make no mistake about it, we are going up against a very good side. The Blues are a team packed with quality and experience, and with 10 to call upon in their squad they probably have more Lions available than any other side in the Magners League with is an indication of the strength in depth they have. They took a real stride forward in terms of results and achievements last season, and with a fantastic new stadium and facilities at the Vale that really are out of this world, understandably, expectations have risen accordingly.

“They may not have got the results that they would have hoped for this season so far, but the quality in the squad speaks for itself, and after a good win on Sunday night, they will approach Friday’s game with confidence. It’s going to be another great occasion, just like Boxing Day was, with a big crowd and a great atmosphere. It kicks off an important month for the Ospreys, and we are all excited about what lies in store. We know that we have to get the performance right, starting with Friday.

“We’re in an interesting place at the moment, we’ve put ourselves in a decent position in both the Magners League and the Heineken Cup without really playing as well as want to, or as we are capable of. We’ve shown flashes of our ability over the last few weeks, and put together a decent run of results, but we still have some way to go yet. It was a good win against the Scarlets last weekend, an excellent result against local rivals, which made the supporters happy, and we showed real grit and character to dig in when they were pressing, but overall, we were disappointed with aspects of our performance and have worked hard on putting these things right for this week.”

The following players were not considered because of injury:

Craig Mitchell – fractured rib
Alun-Wyn Jones – shoulder
James Hook – shoulder
Duncan Jones – broken bone in foot
Barry Davies – groin
Shane Williams – torn hamstring
Mike Phillips - ankle ligament
Tom Isaacs - shoulder reconstruction
Conor McInerney – knee
Lyndon Bateman – knee

Forthcoming Fixtures:
Fri 1st Jan – Ospreys V Cardiff Blues – Magners League – Liberty Stadium – 5.15pm
Fri 8th Jan – Ulster V Ospreys – Magners League – Ravenhill – 7.05pm
Sat 16th Jan – Clermont Auvergne V Ospreys – Heineken Cup – Stade Marcel Michelin?– 4.45pm
Sat 23rd Jan – Ospreys V Leicester Tigers – Heineken Cup – Liberty Stadium – 1.35pm
Fri 29th Jan – Newport Gwent Dragons V Ospreys – LV= Cup – Rodney Parade – 7.30pm