Ospreys team to play the Scarlets

Tandy names his team for Saturday's South Wales Evening Post Challenge Cup clash against the Scarlets at the Liberty Stadium.

The Ospreys team to face the Scarlets at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday 27th December 2014, KO 5.15pm (UK), is as follows:
15 Dan Evans
14 Hanno Dirksen
13 Ashley Beck
12 Josh Matavesi
11 Eli Walker
10 Dan Biggar
9 Rhys Webb 
1 Marc Thomas
2 Scott Baldwin
3 Dmitri Arhip
4 James King
5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt)
6 Dan Lydiate
7 Justin Tipuric
8 Tyler Ardron
16 Sam Parry
17 Gareth Thomas
18 Daniel Suter
19 Rynier Bernardo
20 Sam Lewis
21 Martin Roberts
22 Sam Davies
23 Aisea Natoga
Dan Lydiate makes his first Ospreys start
The following players were unavailable for selection through injury:
Morgan Allen – Ankle
Dan Baker – Shoulder
Joe Bearman - Groin
Ryan Bevington – Groin
Jeff Hassler – Ligaments
Aaron Jarvis – Pectoral muscle
Lloyd Peers - Ligaments
Nicky Smith – Pectoral muscle
Jonathan Spratt - Knee
De Kock Steenkamp – Achilles
Head Coach, Steve Tandy, commented:
“This is the big one as far as the supporters are concerned and it’s fantastic that there’s going to be the biggest crowd for two years at a regional rugby ground, keeping the Christmas derby tradition well and truly alive. This is a derby that really impacts on peo-ple’s every day lives, with family, friends and workmates supporting opposite sides and there’ll be a great atmosphere at the Liberty on Saturday.

“As far as we are concerned as a team, we have to take the passion created by a packed Liberty Stadium and channel it in the right direction. For us, it’s just the next game in a busy schedule and it’s crucial that we don’t allow the occasion to carry us away. 

“We showed what we can do last weekend, we put in 50 or 60 good minutes against Ulster and got the rewards. What we have to do this Saturday is get that little bit better, that little bit sharper, and do it for 80 minutes. It’s important that we review where we go wrong and always keep striving to be better, and that’s been the focus this week.

“It’s great to be top of the table at Christmas but no one is getting carried away. Saturday’s game is only the halfway point of the season so there is still a lot of rugby to be played. We’ve got Glasgow to play twice, Munster and Leinster have still to come to the Liberty, and there’s a fair few Welsh derbies yet so if anyone starts thinking we are safe for Euro-pean qualification or the play-offs then they are mistaken. We’ll soon pay the price for that kind of thinking.

“We’ve got to keep focused, keep striving for excellence and keep working hard if we want to ensure this season becomes a successful one.”
Forthcoming Fixtures
Sat 3 Jan – 5.05pm KO – Scarlets v Ospreys – Parc y Scarlets – PRO12
Sun 11 Jan – 4.00pm KO – Ospreys v NG Dragons – Liberty Stadium – PRO12
Sun 18 Jan – 5.30pm KO – Ospreys v Northampon Saints – ERCC
Sat 24 Jan – 4.15pm KO – Benetton Treviso v Ospreys ERCC