The Ospreys team to face Saracens in the Heineken Cup on Sunday 6th April at Vicarage Road, kick off at 12.30pm, will be as follows:-
15 Lee Byrne 14 Johnny Vaughton 13 Sonny Parker 12 Gavin Henson 11 Shane Williams 10 James Hook 9 Justin Marshall 8 Ryan Jones (Capt) 7 Marty Holah 6 Jonathan Thomas 5 Alun-wyn Jones 4 Ian Gough 3 Adam Jones 2 Huw Bennett 1 Duncan Jones Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard 17 Paul James 18 Ian Evans 19 Filo Tiatia 20 Rhys Webb 21 Andrew Bishop 22 Aled Brew Injury and squad availability news
Three players are not available for selection this week:
Mike Phillips underwent surgery to repair damage to his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments on Thursday and will be out of action for approximately six months
Nikki Walker complained of ankle pains following the Ulster match and underwent an MRI scan on his right ankle this week, which revealed signs of a stress fracture of the fibia. He is expected to be out of action for approximately one month
Barry Williams is undergoing a four-month rehabilitation programme following keyhole surgery on his hip in January and will not play again this seasonHead Coach Lyn Jones commented as follows:
"Sunday's game is sure to be a cracker, with two good sides fully aware of what is at stake - a Heineken Cup semi-final. It's always a strange situation when you face a side twice in such short succession, but it's fair to say that we won't be taking anything for granted despite the manner of our victory at the Millennium Stadium two weeks.
Our supporters played a huge part that day and it is even more important they get behind the boys at Vicarage Road right from the start. Back to back matches can be completely different affairs as our own experiences against Ulster in this tournament in December show. We recorded a comfortable win here at the Liberty Stadium, but it was a much tighter affair at Ravenhill the following week. The message that we've been getting across to our players all week is that they must stay focused, keep their confidence in check to avoid any complacency, and forget what has happened in the past, they can only think about the 80 minutes on Sunday afternoon. We haven't needed to say much to the players this week, as they are hugely respectful of the Saracens attacking threats and how good they are as individuals.
We're disappointed to lose Nikki, and we wish him a speedy recovery, but in his place we have an able deputy in Johnny Vaughton, who is also, like Shane, at the top of his game, showing up well during the EDF Energy Cup Semi-Final, and will I'm sure do so again on Sunday.
Aled Brew has flown back from Australia, where he has been on sevens duty with Wales, and he too is chomping at the bit to get involved should he be required."Forthcoming fixtures are as follows:
Heineken Cup - Sunday 6th April - Saracens V Ospreys - Vicarage Road - 12.30pmEDF Energy Cup - Saturday 12th April - Leicester Tigers V Ospreys - Twickenham - 2.30pm Magners League - Saturday 19th April - Munster V Ospreys - Musgrave Park - 7.30pm
Please note that all fixtures are subject to change