The Ospreys team to face Leinster in the Magners League, on Saturday 5th January, at Royal Dublin Society, with kick off at 7.30pm, will be as follows: -
15 Jonathan Vaughton14 Nikki Walker13 Gareth Owen12 Jonathan Spratt11 Aled Brew10 Shaun Connor9 Mike Phillips
8 Tom Smith7 Ben Lewis6 Hale T-Pole5 Andrew Lloyd4 Lyndon Bateman3 Cai Griffiths2 Richard Hibbard1 Paul James (Capt)
Replacements:16 Ed Shervington17 Andrew Millward18 Alun Wyn Jones19 Filo Tiatia20 Steve Tandy21 Martin Roberts22 Adrian Thomas
Head Coach, Lyn Jones, commented as follows:
"We were delighted with our performance against the Blues and to have restricted a team of their quality to only three points is something we can be proud of. This has been an extremely challenging holiday period for our players and although it has brought the best out them we had a lot of bruised and battered bodies reporting for training this week. These fixtures are the most physically demanding matches we play, and whilst not everyone appreciates the physicality of local derbies you only had to look atall of the players as they left the field to see what it had taken out of them."
"We are continuing to build as the season progresses and we hope to continue to progress this weekend. This will be our first visit to the Royal Dublin Society and we fly out to Dublin in confident mood gained from our good form over the last few months. The players are excited and energised by the prospect of playing against individuals of the quality at Leinster's disposal. Leinster have been knocking at the door of success in the Magners League for a number of years and they currently stand in pole position."
"The team we have selected has a mix of experience and potential and we field a pack of forwards that we are confident are right for this encounter. Fixtures against Leinster are always great footballing occasions and once again we hope to see a firm controlling influence from the man in the middle."
Injury and squad availability news
Six players are not available for selection this week:
Sonny Parker (knee), Gavin Henson (hand), Mark Taylor (hamstring) and Shane Williams (leg) hope to be available for selection against Gloucester next weekend
Andrew Bishop broke his thumb playing against the Blues and will be out for 6-8 weeks
Barry Williams will have a hip operation in London on January 7th and he then faces a four-month rehabilitation programme
January fixtures are as follows:
Magners League - Saturday 5th January - Leinster v Ospreys - Royal Dublin Society - 7.30pm
Heineken Cup - Saturday 12th January - Ospreys v Gloucester -Liberty Stadium - 5.30pm
Heineken Cup - Sunday 20th January - Bourgoin v Ospreys - Stade Pierre Rajon - 2.00pm
Please note that all fixtures are subject to change