Ospreys team to face Leinster

The Ospreys team to face Leinster in the Magners League on Friday 18th September 2009 at The Liberty Stadium, kick off at 7.05pm, will be as follows:-

15 Lee Byrne
14 Tommy Bowe
13 Jonathan Spratt
12 Andrew Bishop
11 Nikki Walker
10 James Hook
9 Jamie Nutbrown

1 Duncan Jones
2 Huw Bennett
3 Craig Mitchell
4 Ian Gough
5 Jonathan Thomas
6 Jerry Collins
7 Marty Holah ©
8 Tom Smith

16 Richard Hibbard
17 Paul James
18 Alun-Wyn Jones
19 Filo Tiatia
20 Mike Phillips
21 Dan Biggar
22 Gareth Owen

Andrew Bishop makes his 100th Ospreys appearance.

Lee Byrne makes his first appearance following the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa. Fellow Lion Tommy Bowe makes his first start after coming off the bench last Saturday, while Alun-Wyn Jones is named among the replacements.

Ospreys Director of Coaching Scott Johnson commented:

“We’re disappointed with the game went last weekend, we’re disappointed with the way we played, there’s no other way of saying it. There won’t be any kneejerk reactions though, we can’t change everything we are trying to do here on the back of one game and one poor performance, that would just be crazy and would get us nowhere in the long term. If you look at results so far this season, not just in the Magners but in England as well, other sides have had disappointing results already, but those teams aren’t tearing everything up and starting again, and neither are we.

“The reality is, we’re trying to change a couple of things, and we’ve got to get better at doing what we want to do. We’re trying to move it in a different direction and we’re trying to find an identity that’s us. We’ve had a lot of guys coming back at different stages and it’s not quite embedded in the squad as we’d want yet. Old habits die hard really, so we’ve got to find our level and where we need to be as a team, so we’re a work in progress. We can only do it by doing it more often, and doing it better. That’s where we are – we aren’t happy where we are but that’s where we are. If we can acknowledge that we let ourselves down, then that means we’ve let the people who support us down. At the end of the day, it’s not through lack of energy, or lack of intent, but we’ve got to get our part right. We know that we’ve got to be at a certain destination at a certain time, we could take the easy way, or we could take the hard way and try and get the outcome we desire, and that’s the route that we’ve decided to take.

“If we felt that what we are doing was right for us last week, then it’s still the right way for us now, one game doesn’t change that. We’ve got to keep things in perspective and realise that we’ve only lost one game. The reaction since Saturday has been a good one and we are looking to move forward. Leinster at home on Friday night is the ideal challenge, they are tough opposition, but you’ve got to get back on the horse straight away. We’ve made some changes as we’re looking to get players up to speed and into the squad and a few more boys will get some game time this weekend, some will come off the bench, and with a short turnaround this week we’ve had to change things around a bit in terms of personnel. We had a good idea of the shape of this team last week, it’s all part of what we are trying to do, building up week by week, and managing the squad over a long season.”

Forthcoming Fixtures
Fri 25th Sept - Glasgow V Ospreys - Magners League - Firhill - 7.05pm
Sun 4th Oct - Ospreys V Edinburgh - Magners League - Liberty Stadium - 4.00pm
Sun 11th Oct – Leicester Tigers V Ospreys – Heineken Cup – Welford Road – 12.45pm
Sun 18th Oct – Ospreys V Clermont Auvergne – Heineken Cup – Liberty Stadium – 12.45pm