The Ospreys team to face Perpignan in the Heineken Cup on Saturday 17th January 2009 at Stade Aime-Giral, kick off at 4.35pm, will be as follows:-
15 Lee Byrne
14 Tommy Bowe
13 Andrew Bishop
12 Gavin Henson
11 Shane Williams
10 James Hook
9 Mike Phillips
1 Paul James
2 Richard Hibbard
3 Adam Jones
4 Ian Gough
5 Alun-wyn Jones
6 Ryan Jones ©
7 Marty Holah
8 Filo Tiatia
16 Huw Bennett
17 Cai Griffiths
18 Lyndon Bateman
19 Tom Smith
20 Jamie Nutbrown
21 Dan Biggar
22 Jonny Vaughton
Ospreys Coach Sean Holley commented:
'Saturday's game is a huge fixture that will provide a real test of physical and mental strength, but it's an exciting challenge that we are all looking forward to. You can't fail to be excited about the prospect of challenging one of France's leading sides on their own patch, in front of a big crowd and in an electric atmosphere. Our players are the type who thrive on competing against the best in the world in front of big, passionate crowds and Perpignan certainly fit the bill.
'Our recent matches against the Blues and Munster were both hugely physical, and as such, have proved to be excellent preparation for this fixture. We welcome back six seasoned internationals into the starting 15, along with Jamie Nutbrown on the bench, whilst Tom Smith deservedly takes a place in the 22 after a fine performance last weekend.
'After reviewing the Munster match we have identified clear areas for improvement, and if we can hit the right performance marks in terms of what we've been working hard on this week then we will present a serious challenge to Perpignan.'
The following players were not considered because of injury:
Sonny Parker suffered a fractured rib against Munster last weekend and is likely to be out of action for 4/6 weeks
Jonathan Thomas has a groin injury but is hopeful of returning to action next weekend
Nikki Walker is out of action for the rest of the season having undergone surgery to repair a partial tear of his hamstring muscle origin on his left leg suffered during the home game against Treviso.
Ben Lewis has undergone repeat ACL reconstruction surgery to his right knee having encountered further problems, and is unlikely to feature again this season
Duncan Jones is recovering from surgery to fix a chronic stress fracture in his right foot, and will be in plaster for up to 12 weeks.
Ian Evans had undergone ACL reconstruction surgery after damaging his right knee in the Wales V New Zealand fixture and has been ruled out until next season
Andy Lloyd ruptured elbow ligaments playing in an 'A' team fixture at the end of October and needed surgery to fix the underlying instability. He is targetinga comeback midApril 09
Gareth Owen is recovering well from surgery to repair ankle ligament damage, and is expected to return in 2/3 weeks
Forthcoming fixtures are as follows:
Saturday 24th January Ospreys V Leicester Tigers Heineken Cup Liberty Stadium 5.35pm
Sunday 22nd February Ospreys V Connacht Magners League Liberty Stadium 3.00pm
Friday 6th March Ospreys V Leinster Magners League Liberty Stadium 7.05pm
All fixtures are subject to change