The Ospreys team to play Connacht at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday 24th October 2015, KO 1.30pm, is as follows:
15 Richard Fussell; 14 Tom Grabham; 13 Ben John; 12 Josh Matavesi; 11 Eli Walker; 10 Sam Davies; 9 Brendon Leonard
1 Ryan Bevington; 2 Sam Parry; 3 Dmitri Arhip; 4 Lloyd Ashley (Capt); 5 Rory Thornton; 6 James King; 7 Sam Underhill; 8 Dan Baker
16 Scott Otten; 17 Paul James; 18 Aaron Jarvis; 19 Rynier Bernardo; 20 Joe Bearman; 21 Justin Tipuric; 22 Tom Habberfield; 23 Dan Evans
The following players were unavailable for selection due to injury:
Tyler Ardron - Knee
Adam Beard – Shoulder
Ashley Beck – ACL
Hanno Dirksen - Hip
Jeff Hassler – Knee
Nicky Smith - Ankle
De Kock Steenkamp - Hip
Dan Suter – Neck
Rhys Webb – Foot
The following players were unavailable for selection due to involvement with the British Army at the IDRC tournament
Ifereimi Boladau and Matthew Dwyer
Ospreys Head Coach, Steve Tandy, said:
“Last week was a big step up from us in terms of performance and we got the win out in Treviso, but we are under no illusions that we need to be better again this Saturday.
“Connacht have started the season well, are looking dangerous, scoring tries, and are deservedly up in the top four with three wins. In fairness to the IRFU they have a strategic plan in place, have increased their financial support for Connacht considerably and you can see the impact that investment is having on their squad and strength in depth.
“They’ve not had the disruption that other teams have had through the World Cup, have had a head start, and will be fighting to stay up near the top of the table. For us, it’s about striving to be better, sharper and more clinical at what we do, putting together an all round performance that can deliver what we need.
“It’s good to see some of the international boys back involved, and in the case of Paul James, back in an Ospreys shirt after three years away. What’s also really pleasing is that we’ve got one or two individuals out there, young men like Rory Thornton and Sam Underhill, who have really grabbed their opportunity over the last few weeks and have kept hold of the shirt on merit. That is exactly what we want and bodes well for the future.
“With the stop/start nature of the season it’s been a while since we’ve been at the Liberty, five weeks since we played Munster there, so it’s good to be back home for a game in the traditional Saturday afternoon slot. We had a good crowd for the Munster game and we’re hoping for similar this weekend to really give the boys a boost.”
Sun 1 Nov - 2.30pm KO – Glasgow v Ospreys – PRO12
Sat 7 Nov – 2.30pm KO - Ospreys v Zebre – PRO12
Sun 15 Nov – 5.15pm KO – Ospreys v Exeter Chiefs – ERCC
Sun 22 Nov – 2.00pm KO (Local) – Clermont Auvergne v Ospreys - ERCC