The Ospreys are set to welcome a quartet of Rugby World Cup finalists to the Liberrty Stadium on Saturday afternoon as French giants Biarritz visit Ospreylia for the first time since losing 15-10 to Swansea at St Helen's back in 2001.
Legendary French backrow Imanol Harinordoquy and scrum half Dimitri Yavchvili both started in the 8-7 defeat to New Zealand after leading the French to a semi-final win over Wales a week earlier, while their Biarritz team mates Fabien Barcella and Damien Traille came off the bench as the All Blacks were pushed all the way in a nailbiting 80 minutes.
The boys in bleu are joined by other returning internationals such as USA wing Taku Ngwenya, who raced the length of the pitch to score a try when the Ospreys and Biarritz last met, along with Argentine pair Manuel Carizza and Marcelo Bosch.
It promises to be an exciting contest with the Ospreys also back to full strength after the Welsh team's return from New Zealand to complement a squad that goes into the Heineken Cup on top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table with just the one defeat in the opening eight games. Managing Director, Roger Blyth, said everyone at the Ospreys is excited about the fixture:
"It's going to be fantastic. As a rugby person, be it a player, supporter or a coach, you can't fail to be excited about this game. One of the best teams in France, twice Heineken Cup finalists in the last five years, packed with quality and World Cup players like Harinorodoquy and Yachvili, who are among the best in the world, coming to Ospreylia for the opening Heineken Cup game of the season. It's brilliant.
"Add to that we're just about at full strength again after the World Cup ourselves and that boys are raring to go. I don't think there's anywhere else any rugby fan in the region would rather be this Saturday afternoon than at the Liberty.
"What makes it even better is that it's at traditional rugby time, so you can spend an afternoon out at the game with family and friends without it intruding on your Saturday evening."
Looking back at the only previous clash between the two sides, an exhilarating Heineken Cup quarter-final clash in 2010 that finished 29-28 to the French side, Blyth believes that game gave an indication of what's in store this weekend:
"It was a truly wonderful 80 minutes of rugby between two evenly matched teams who went at it from first whistle to last. That's the beauty of the Heineken Cup, where you see the best players in the world on the same pitch, as is the case this Saturday. Coming so soon after the World Cup, it allows fans to the chance to watch close up the players they've been admiring on their TV sets from the other side of the world throughout September and October.
"The Liberty Stadium is the only place to be this Saturday."
Tickets for the game remain on sale at the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office, online at www.ospreysrugby.com/buytickets and via the Ticket Hotline on 0844 815 6665.