Ospreys Team To Face Leinster

The Ospreys team to face Leinster in the Magners League on Friday 19th September 2008 at the Royal Dublin Society, kick off at 7.35pm, will be as follows:-

15 Lee Byrne

14 Tommy Bowe

13 Sonny Parker

12 Andrew Bishop

11 Nikki Walker

10 James Hook

9 Rhys Webb

8 Ryan Jones ©

7 Steve Tandy

6 Jonathan Thomas

5 Ian Evans

4 Alun-wyn Jones

3 Adam Jones

2 Huw Bennett

1 Duncan Jones


16 Ed Shervington

17 Paul James

18 Ian Gough

19 Fio Tiatia

20 Rhodri Wells

21 Daniel Biggar

22 Johnny Vaughton

If he comes on off the bench, it will be Paul James' 102nd Ospreys appearance, setting a new record for the region

Injury news

The following players are not available for selection due to injury:

Gavin Henson has returned to full training and is on target for a return to action in the next fortnight as originally anticipated following keyhole surgery on damaged ankle ligaments earlier this year

Mike Phillips is continuing his rehabilitation after undergoing surgery to repair damage to his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and a further update on his status, and likely return to action, will be issued later this week after he has seen the specialist

Shane Williams is suffering from a minor leg injury and was not considered for this match. He is undergoing intense treatment and is expected to be available for the Ulster match next weekend

Gareth Owen and Cai Griffiths both suffered ankle ligament damage during last weekend's victory over Glasgow and are being monitored closely to assess the likely length of lay-off

Jamie Nutbrown suffered an injury to the midtarsal joint of his left foot in Glasgow, damaging ligaments as well as sustaining a compression fracture to one of the small tarsal bones of his foot. He has been ruled out of action for a period of six-eight weeks

Ben Lewis is recovering well after undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery to his right knee and is on target for a November return

Richard Hibbard and Lyndon Bateman return to action in the Welsh Premiership this weekend after shoulder and back injuries respectively


"Friday night looks likely to be a cracking occasion, two in form sides locking horns in front of a near sell-out crowd. We're all really excited about it, it's matches like this that we are all involved in rugby for. The matches between the two of us have generally tended to be close affairs over the years and I wouldn't expect it to be any different this time around.

When you look at the Leinster side, they are the Magners League champions, they are packed with quality and experience and they have threats right across the field so the size of the challenge that lies ahead of us if we are to get a result there on Friday night is clear. They have forwards who seem to deliver week in week out, a first class defence and individuals of real ability behind so we know that we have to be on top of our game. However, we go into the game with confidence high after three straight wins and I don't doubt for one minute that they will look at the side that we've named today and think exactly the same thing so it's bound to be an intriguing clash.

We were handed a difficult first week by the schedulers, with an intense Welsh derby sandwiched in between trips to Ireland and Scotland and we've come through that test in a very pleasing manner. The results and performances were satisfying, but what was most pleasing is the way that the whole squad has responded in a hugely positive way. We've tried to spread the load during the opening fixtures and we've continued with that in our selection for this match, but it is a signal of our confidence in the squad that we are happy to do so. The players who have come in have certainly held their hand up and I'm sure that will be the case again this week. We have worked hard over the summer to build the squad ethic and are delighted that everybody within the camp is buying into what we are doing as it can only stand us in good stead over the course of a long season as injuries and international calls really start to bite.

Finally, a word for Paul James who will set a new Ospreys appearance record if he comes off the bench on Friday. A first class professional, Paul is a vastly under-rated player who has been a tremendous servant to the region since our inception and who we all feel has a very bright future ahead of him as he is still a young man. I'm delighted for him that he stands on the verge of an Ospreys record and see no reason why he can't go on to extend that record by quite some margin over the coming years."

Forthcoming fixtures are as follows:

Saturday 27th September - Ospreys V Ulster - Magners League - Liberty Stadium - 5.30pm

Sunday 5th October - Ospreys V Harlequins - EDF Energy Cup - Liberty Stadium - 3.05pm

Sunday 12th October - Leicester Tigers V Ospreys - Heineken Cup - Welford Road - 1.00pm

Saturday 18th October - Ospreys V Perpignan - Heineken Cup - Liberty Stadium - 3.30pm