The Ospreys Premiership Select are back in action this weekend when they travel to take on Nottinghamat Lady Bay Stadium in the third round of the British & Irish Cup.
After a six week break from the competition, the boys are back in training at Llandarcy Academy of Sport in preparation for the double header against the English Championship side where we spoke to Will Jones, who captained the team in the opening two rounds.
He said: “We’re obviously looking to build on the previous two performances. There are a few positives to take out of those games against Munster and Bedford. I think our attack worked really well, we wanted to play an open flowing game, we just need to cut down on the errors moving into this double header against Nottingham.”
The young squad lost their opening game against defending champions Munster A, in Swansea before heading to Goldington Road to face Bedford Blues in the second round.
A strong attacking first half from the Ospreys PS, rounded off with tries from Joe Thomas and Dafydd Howells, saw them only trail 17 - 12 at halftime, but a dominant display from Bedford left the young squad too much to do, Jay Baker crossing the whitewash in the final minutes for the side’s third try, with the final score 43-19.
Jones, along with a number of his team-mates in the Premiership Select side, featured in the Ospreys' Anglo-Welsh Cup games, including an impressive 26-16 away win against Cardiff Blues last month. He then made his Guinness PRO14 debut, coming off the bench in the Liberty Stadium game against Glasgow before an eventful first start a week ago, away to Munster, where he was yellow carded before scoring his first senior try.
“There’s a few boys in this side now who’ve picked up game time in the Anglo-Welsh Cup and the Pro14 with the senior squad” continued Jones.
“It’s good they’re coming into this competition with the experience from those games under their belt. For me personally, taking the experience from the games against Glasgow and Munster to bring back to this team is a big positive including all the tips from some of the senior boys.
“Obviously it’s disappointing losing players like Kieran Williams and Tom Williams who played in the previous two matches in the British and Irish Cup because of injury, but we have Joe Thomas back from the Dragons and I think he’ll play a key role in the next couple of games.”
Looking towards this Sunday’s game, Jones said:
“Nottingham are a championship team, we know they’re going to be strong. They stay with each other all year with a similar sort of squad playing week in week out. We know English squads tend to have big, heavy packs, they like to be physical up front similar to Bedford. So if we can attack strong like we did against Bedford and tidy up those areas I think we’ll play a good game.”Nottingham then head to Ospreylia next weekend for the return leg, playing at the Gnoll in Neath at 2.30pm on Saturday 16th December - find out about tickets for the game here...