Watkin Ospreys

Watkin returns for Ulster clash

The Guinness PRO14 rolls on this weekend following a six-week hiatus, and there's an exciting team named to take on Ulster in round 11 of the Guinness PRO14 at the Liberty Stadium this Saturday. 

The back three trio of Cai Evans, Hanno Dirksen, and Luke Morgan are reunited once more since their last outing in the Heineken Cup against Munster back in January. Evans recently renewed his contract with the Ospreys, extending his stay at the region, while Dirksen will be celebrating his 150th appearance in an Ospreys jersey. 

Welsh international centre Owen Watkin has recovered from his knee injury to give both Ospreys and Wales a timely boost in the midfield. The young centre will celebrate his 50th cap for the region partnered with Kieran Williams, another who has been plagued with injuries this season. However, there's no lack of pace or power in the midfield with these two youngsters back in the mix.

Aled Davies starts at scrumhalf and will be looking to provide clean service for his outside half, Luke Price, the fly half having started all but two games in the Guinness PRO14 so far this season. 

In the pack, props Nicky Smith and Simon Gardiner pack down at loosehead and tighthead respectively, with Scott Otten is given the nod at hooker. 

Adam Beard, released by Wales for this weekend, returns seamlessly back into the fold and partners up with fellow international lock Bradley Davies to form a heavyweight second row.

Veteran flanker Dan Lydiate will lead the side from the blindside, while Olly Cracknell packs down on the openside. Gareth Evans makes a welcome return to the side and will pack down at number eight.  

Starting XV
15. Cai Evans
14. Hanno Dirksen
13. Owen Watkin
12. Kieran Williams
11. Luke Morgan
10. Luke Price
9. Aled Davies 

1.Nicky Smith  
2. Scott Otten
3. Simon Gardiner 
4. Adam Beard
5. Bradley Davies 
6. Dan Lydiate ©
7. Olly Cracknell
8. Gareth Evans 

16. Sam Parry 
17. Gareth Thomas
18. Gheorghe Gajion 
19. Lloyd Ashley
20. Sam Cross 
21. Shaun Venter 
22. Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler
23. James Hook 

The following players were unavailable for selection due to International duty:
Justin Tipuric, Alun Wyn Jones, George North (All Wales).

The following players were unavailable for selection due to injury:

Gareth Anscombe

Harri Morgan

Cory Allen 

James King

Rhys Henry

Will Griffiths

Keelan Giles

Tom Botha

Rhodri Jones

Scott Williams

Ma’afu Fia

Morgan Morris

Upcoming Fixtures:
Ospreys v Leinster, The Gnoll, Friday 21st February, 7:35pm - Buy tickets here.
Zebre v Ospreys, Stadio Lanfranchi, Saturday 29th February, 1pm Local time.