Ospreys team to face Viadana

The Ospreys team to face Viadana in the Heineken Cup on Saturday 12th December 2009 at the Stadio Il Giglio, kick off at 2.30pm (local time), will be as follows:-

15 Gareth Owen
14 Tommy Bowe
13 Sonny Parker
12 Andrew Bishop
11 Nikki Walker
10 Dan Biggar
9 Ricky Januarie

1 Paul James
2 Richard Hibbard
3 Craig Mitchell
4 Alun-wyn Jones
5 Jonathan Thomas
6 Jerry Collins (Capt)
7 Marty Holah
8 Filo Tiatia

16 Huw Bennett
17 Ryan Bevington
18 Cai Griffiths
19 Ian Gough
20 Tom Smith
21 Jamie Nutbrown
22 Jonathan Spratt
23 Tom Prydie

Ricky Januarie will undergo a fitness test ahead of the game to decide whether he is okay to start. In the event that he doesn't start the match, he will swap places with Jamie Nutbrown

Huw Bennett will make his 100th Ospreys appearance if he comes off the bench

17 year old Tom Prydie will make his competitive debut should he be involved off the bench

Ospreys Coach Jonathan Humphreys commented:

“We’ve already said that it’s a big couple of months for us and the next two weeks are as crucial as it comes, as back to back games against Viadana present a difficult challenge for us. The outcome of these matches will have a big bearing on how we ultimately fare in the Heineken Cup, and as such, it is important that we prepare properly for these games and get the performance right over the next two Saturday’s.

“Make no mistake about it, Viadana are a difficult side to play against. We can’t allow our performance to be dictated by external expectations, and we certainly won’t be underestimating the challenge that we face. We’ve seen what happened between Treviso and Perpignan on the first weekend of this year’s competition, that was certainly enough to provide a wake-up call to anybody who thought it would be easy, while Leicester’s game against Viadana was very close for long periods. What we have to do is ensure that we get our game right, focus on doing what we want to and playing our own game, and that should ensure we get the right outcome.

“It’s going to be a good experience, Viadana have switched the venue as they are hoping to get a big crowd. We are looking forward to the occasion, as always, we will be well supported out there with a decent number of Ospreys fans making the trip, and it promises to be an interesting afternoon.

“We welcome Ricky Januarie into the squad after his arrival from South Africa. It’s not an ideal situation to throw him straight in without any prior game time, but we’ve been in contact with him over the last few weeks, supplied him with all the information he needs about game plans, plays and calls and he is ready to go. He’s an experienced international player, and I’m sure that given his quality and experience he’ll prove to be an asset for us over the coming months.

“Likewise, it’s great to see Jamie Nutbrown back in the 23 following his ligament problem. As with Ricky, it’s far from ideal preparation to throw him straight in without any prior game time, but our scrum half position has been well documented, and we’re confident that Jamie will be another one who will stand up and be counted.”

The following players were unavailable for selection:

James Hook has not been selected for this match to allow him to be with his partner, who is due to give birth imminently

Ashley Beck is on international duty with the Wales Sevens team in South Africa

Duncan Jones – broken bone in foot

Adam Jones – shoulder

Ian Evans - torn pec major tendon

Ryan Jones – back spasm

Barry Davies – groin

Shane Williams – torn hamstring

Mike Phillips - ankle ligament

Tom Isaacs - shoulder reconstruction

Conor McInerney - knee

Lee Byrne - ligament damage to right foot

Lyndon Bateman - knee

Forthcoming Fixtures

Sat 19th Dec – Ospreys V Viadana – Heineken Cup – Liberty Stadium – 2.30pm
Sat 26th Dec – Scarlets V Ospreys – Magners League – Parc y Scarlets – 2.05pm
Fri 1st Jan – Ospreys V Cardiff Blues – Magners League – Liberty Stadium – 5.15pm