Head Coach Sean Holley has commented on Friday night's Magners League match against Leinster: "â¬ÅUndoubtedly it's going to be a huge test for our young team, who will find themselves up against some real world-class stars in the Leinster team... (more)
SEAN HOLLEY AND RYAN JONES COMMENT ON OSPREYS V LEINSTER
Head Coach Sean Holley has commented on Friday night's Magners League match against Leinster:
"Undoubtedly it's going to be a huge test for our young team, who will find themselves up against some real world-class stars in the Leinster team. It's exactly the sort of test and experience we want for the likes of Kristian Phillips, Gareth Owen, Ed Shervington and Tom Smith, and it will stand them in good stead as they progress in their rugby careers.
"The side that we have named isn't just about young talent though, we have some true Ospreys and very experienced players in our team and it's an exciting combination. This team is keen to prove that the performance against Connacht, even though culminating in a win, did not reach the standards we set ourselves at the Ospreys, and we have worked hard in training over the last two weeks to get the performance levels right.
"We will be boosted by the supporters initiative being offered for this game and look forward to some great support this Friday, especially from the many young fans coming along, and the players will want to provide them with a top performance . With so many teams in the Magners League now capable of beating each other, as results this season show, this is a very important game with regard to both teams challenge for the title. We are well aware of the challenge Leinster will bring but we are very, very focused, excited and mindful of the position we could put ourselves in come the end of this weekend."
Meanwhile, Ryan Jones took time out from preparing from Wales' next Six Nations fixture against Italy to send a good luck message to his Ospreys team-mates ahead of the game. He said:
"It's a big game for the Ospreys on Friday night, and it's a great opportunity for some of the younger players to put down a marker and show what they are all about. It's an important evening, both in terms of our Magners League hopes, and for some of these guys who will be testing themselves against quality individuals and is a bit of a glimpse of what the future has in store for the Ospreys. It's an exciting thought, having trained and played with these guys I'm aware of the talent and potential that they have and I'm looking forward to watching them against Leinster in what should be a great contest.
"I think it's important that the supporters turn up and support these young players, they have to feel a part of the Ospreys family. We've worked hard all season long on the squad ethic, and to build up the strength in depth to enable us to cope when we have players away on international duty, and then, to kick on from that and be in a position where we have more players pressing for selection when we have a full squad to select from. Success isn't about individuals, it's about a squad, and having pressure from within for places.
"What all the Ospreys guys in the Welsh camp want is a great performance on Friday evening that will keep us in contention for the Magners League, with these young guys shining. That will create a very interesting situation ahead of the Gloucester match when they are putting their hands up for selection. Internal pressures of selection should be the biggest motivating factor, with no one guaranteed a place and selection is purely down to performance levels. We are possibly the only side in Europe still in contention for three tournaments, so it is important that our strength in depth is there, we can't rely on just a small group of players, and we need the players to be strong when they get their opportunity, just as we need the crowd to be strong on Friday night and to get behind the guys in the black shirts."