Ospreys team to face Connacht

The Ospreys team to Connacht in the Magners League on Sunday 21st February 2010 at Liberty Stadium, kick off at 5.00pm, will be as follows:-

15 Gareth Owen
14 Jonny Vaughton
13 Sonny Parker
12 Ashley Beck
11 Nikki Walker
10 Dan Biggar
9 Jamie Nutbrown
1 Ryan Bevington
2 Richard Hibbard
3 Craig Mitchell
4 Ian Gough (Capt)
5 Ian Evans
6 Tom Smith
7 Marty Holah
8 Filo Tiatia
16 Ed Shervington
17 Cai Griffiths 
18 Andy Lloyd
19 Jerry Collins
20 Mike Phillips
21 Barry Davies
22 Tom Prydie

The following players were unavailable because of international duty:

Huw Bennett, Andrew Bishop,Tommy Bowe, Lee Byrne, James Hook,  Paul James, Adam Jones, Ryan Jones, Kristian Phillips, Jonathan Thomas, Shane Williams

The following players were not considered because of injury:

Alun Wyn Jones - elbow
Ross Davies - fractured ankle/ligament damage
Duncan Jones - broken bone in foot
Tom Isaacs - shoulder
Lyndon Bateman – knee
Jonathan Spratt - back

Ospreys Director of Coaching, Scott Johnson, said:

"It's really good to get back into action again after spending the last couple of weeks just working hard in training while the Six Nations took centre stage. We're in a funny position at the moment, with so many kids away with their country, but I've always believed that when we are without the international boys, it's a real good opportunity for some of other boys in the squad to front  up.

"It's never an easy time for us to deal with, with so many players unavailable, but we've done a lot of work to plan and prepare for this. Yes, we've got the benefit of boys coming back to us from Wales in Dan Biggar, Ian Gough and Tom Prydie, which will help us, but make no mistake about it, this week is about the core group of players who have been waiting for their chance to show management what they can do, and why they should be in the team. Young players come and ask me why they are not in the team. It’s my turn to sit in my office and say: ‘Give me a reason not to pick you'. It’s their chance in the sun.

"The LV= Cup has been very good for us over the last month, in that it's given us the chance to play these kids together, to try out some combinations and for us to generally shake off the rustiness that some of the players were inevitably suffering because they haven't played much together over the last few months. It's allowed us to work together over a period of time, for them to get used to each other, and there's been improvements week on week. They know that this is their chance so I'm expecting them to improve again this weekend.

"It's not going to be a walk in the park for us, we know that we have to roll up our sleeves and battle on Sunday. There isn’t a person in rugby who can say they don’t know the kind of team Connacht is. They are brave, will not go away and they’ll be competitive at all levels. They are vastly underrated because they don’t have the big names, but there’s much to admire about them and they will push us all the way, of that I'm sure. We know what to expect, and we know that we have to prepare for this in the right way or we will find out for ourselves exactly how capable Connacht are of giving anyone a bloody nose."

Forthcoming Fixtures  
Sun 7th Mar – Edinburgh V Ospreys – Magners League – Murrayfield – 2.00pm
Sat 27th Mar – Newport Gwent Dragons V Ospreys – Magners League - Rodney Parade – 6.30pm