Ospreys team to play Zebre

The Ospreys team to play Zebre at the Liberty Stadium, on Friday 2nd September, 2016, KO 7.35 pm, is as follows:

15 Dan Evans
14 Jeff Hassler
13 Ashley Beck
12 Josh Matavesi
11 Eli Walker
10 Sam Davies
9 Tom Habberfield (Capt)

1 Nicky Smith
2 Sam Parry
3 Dmitri Arhip
4 Lloyd Ashley
5 Rory Thornton
6 Olly Cracknell
7 Justin Tipuric
8 Tyler Ardron


16 Hugh Gustafson
17 Paul James
18 Ma’afu Fia
19 Bradley Davies
20 Dan Baker
21 Rhys Webb
22 Ben John
23 Dafydd Howells

Hugh Gustafson and Bradley Davies will make their Ospreys debuts if they come off the bench

The following players were unavailable for selection due to injury:

Hanno Dirksen - Knee

Brendon Leonard – Groin

Dan Lydiate - Shoulder

Scott Otten – Hand

Daniel Suter - Neck

Sam Underhill – Shoulder

Owen Watkin - Knee

Adam Beard is unavailable for selection due to suspension and will be free to play after 10th September

Head Coach, Steve Tandy, commented:

“It’s been a positive pre-season, we’ve had a couple of really good run-outs and are in a pretty good position going into the opening weekend. Everybody is ready to go now, we understand that all the work up to this point has been about preparing, making sure we are ready to hit the ground running from the very first whistle on Friday night.

“It’s important that we get the performance right in these opening weeks to give us a solid platform to build from for the rest of the season. It’s not about the opposition, it’s about how we prepare, making sure the attention to detail is there in everything we do, and being accurate. Get those things right and we are heading in the right direction. We know that nothing is won in September, but what last season showed is that if we don’t get the ba-sics right early on then it makes life very difficult as the season progresses. We don’t want to be in that position again.

“It’s great to be kicking off at home, in front of our own supporters, who can help us get off to a good start. We know that Zebre will provide a physical challenge for us, they’ve re-cruited well over the summer, bringing in some key players, and with the changes in Italian rugby over the summer, will definitely be up for it. We know that we’ve got to match their physicality while sticking to the task, and we are really looking forward to getting stuck into it.”

Forthcoming Fixtures

Sat 10 Sep – 7.35pm KO – Connacht v Ospreys – Sportsground – PRO12
Sat 17 Sep – 7.35pm KO - Ospreys v Benetton Treviso – Liberty Stadium – PRO12
Fri 23 Sep – 7.35pm KO – Leinster v Ospreys – RDS – PRO12
Sat 1 Oct – 5.30pm KO - Ulster v Ospreys – Kingspan Stadium – PRO12
Fri 7 Oct – 7.35pm KO – Ospreys v Cardiff Blues – Liberty Stadium – PRO12