Leeds Carnegie will provide the opposition for Ospreys pre-season fixture at Liberty Stadium
Ospreys fans will get their first opportunity to see this summer's new signings Jerry Collins, Ross Davies, Barry Davies, Tom Isaacs and Conor McInerney in the black shirt when the region entertains Guinness Premiership side Leeds Carnegie in a pre-season fixture at the Liberty Stadium next month.
The match will also provide supporters with the chance to see for themselves how Director of Coaching Scott Johnson has been able to stamp his own coaching style on the squad since taking control of training when the players returned for pre-season last week.
Leeds, who return to the top flight in England this season after an absence of a year, will visit Ospreylia on Saturday 22nd August, for a match that will kick-off at 2.30pm. The two sides have agreed to a reverse fixture taking place ahead of the following season at Leeds' Headingley Carnegie Stadium. The fixture has been confirmed and will go ahead despite the two teams being paired in the new look Anglo-Welsh Cup.
Coaching by Rugby World Cup winner and three time British & Irish Lion Neil Back, Leeds secured the 2008/09 English National Division One championship by an overwhelming margin, finishing 14 points clear of second place Exeter Chiefs as they won 28 of their 30 league fixtures during the season, losing just two. They open their league campaign with a home game against Newcastle Falcons a fortnight later, and will be looking to get off to a flying start when they face the Ospreys with their new look squad that has been considerably strengthened ahead of their return to the Guinness Premiership.
Familiar faces in the Leeds ranks include former England rugby union and New Zealand rugby league cap Henry Paul and former Natal Sharks and Blue Bulls scrum half Scott Mathie, along with ex Pontypridd, Ebbw Vale, Newport and Bristol outside half Jason Strange and Rhys Oakley, who signed from Newport Gwent Dragons. The Welsh link at Leeds was strengthened with the signing last week of Scarlets outside half Ceiron Thomas, who joins a host of new faces at the club as they prepare for their return to the Guinness Premiership. Other signings confirmed so far this summer include Western Force and Australia A prop Gareth Hardy, Bristol and Samoa back rower Alfie To'oala, Biarritz and Samoa winger Henry Fa'afili and Leicester's Springbok second row Marco Wentzel.
The Ospreys will continue their preparations for the new campaign the following week when they travel to Gloucester for their second pre-season fixture.