The Ospreys team to face Connacht in the Magners League on Saturday 16th February, at Liberty Stadium, kick off at 5.30pm, will be as follows...
The Ospreys team to face Connacht in the Magners League on Saturday 16th February, at Liberty Stadium, kick off at 5.30pm, will be as follows:- 15 Justin Marshall 14 Johnny Vaughton 13 Mark Taylor 12 Jonathan Spratt 11 Nikki Walker 10 Shaun Connor 9 Mike Phillips 8 Filo Tiatia (Capt)7 Marty Holah 6 Ben Lewis 5 Lyndon Bateman4 Andy Lloyd3 Cai Griffiths2 Richard Hibbard1 Paul James Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington17 Andrew Millward18 Mike Powell19 Tom Smith20 Martin Roberts 21 Gareth Owen 22 Aled Brew Injury and squad availability news Two players are not available for selection this week: Andrew Bishop continues his rehabilitation after having a pin inserted in a small bone in his hand and is to be available in 2 weeks Barry Williams is undergoing a four-month rehabilitation programme following keyhole surgery on his hip in January Head Coach Lyn Jones commented as follows: "We're looking forward to the challenge that Connacht will present on Saturday. They are a well-organised, well-drilled team who have a sense of togetherness instilled in them by their coach and I'm sure that the other Welsh regions will agree that they are one of the toughest opponents in the Magners League. "We've prepared well for the game and the side selected offers a well balanced blend of youth and potential with experience. For the likes of Ben Lewis, Richard Hibbard and Jonathan Spratt, the game offers them a real opportunity to build on some promising performances earlier in the season and they can't wait to get onto the pitch. It's great that Mike Phillips and Nikki Walker have been released from international duty to play and their presence will certainly give us an extra edge. It's a big call to play Justin Marshall at full-back, but he is an exceptionally talented rugby player and the utmost professional who will, I'm sure, perform admirably in that position. "It's been a tough month and a half for most of these players, without any Magners League games in that time, but it's a problem which both teams will have to deal with. The game could be won and lost on how rusty both sets of players are, so we have to make sure that we shake off any rustiness ahead of kick-off and hit the ground running."
For this game only, the Ospreys are operating a scheme that will allow all season-ticket holders and members to bring along two friends to the game for just £10, in any area of the Liberty Stadium, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Ospreys Managing Director Roger Blyth commented:
"The crowd, and the atmosphere they created in the last home game against Gloucester, was second to none, and we have introduced this offer to say thank you to them for their efforts, and also, to encourage those who may have thought about staying away to come down and try to recreate a little bit of that atmosphere.
"We appreciate that this time of the year can be an expensive time for rugby fans with Six Nations matches coming thick and fast, as well as the added cost of tickets and travel for our two games against Saracens, so we thought that we could give supporters something back that would help to make attending the match more affordable. To be able to watch Magners League rugby for just £5 is fantastic value for money. With 1,300 match tickets already sold through the offer, it is clear that supporters are taking advantage of the initiative. We have also extended this offer to schools and clubs and have had a good response to what is just the latest in a line of initiatives designed to ensure that the Ospreys have a place in the hearts and minds of the next generation of supporters.
"I'm sure that it will prove a popular move with our supporters and will help to give a significant boost to a crowd that history tells us wouldn't have been amongst our highest of the season." February fixtures are as follows: Magners League - Saturday 16th February - Ospreys V Connacht - Liberty Stadium - 5.30pm Magners League - Friday 29th February - Glasgow V Ospreys - Firhill - 7.30pm Please note that all fixtures are subject to change