Club Rugby

Ospreys facing a big challenge against Edinburgh

Sam Davies OspreysOspreys’ young side did the region proud in the win over Munster says Head Coach, Steve Tandy, but this week’s opponents, Edinburgh, present a differ sort of challenge.

Tandy, said: “It was a good night for us in Munster on Sunday, a team effort that everybody can be proud of. The average age of the side was just 23, and to see the maturity of the performance, especially under pressure, was impressive. We went with a plan, which they bought into and believed in, stuck to the task and got their reward against a good team at a ground where away teams don’t often leave with anything.

“There’s no let up though, with a quick turnaround into Friday night and another difficult game against a team just above us. We know that if we don’t back up the Munster result with a similar performance and outcome then all our efforts in Cork will be wasted.

“We’re going up against an experienced, big and physical team who have the second best defence in the league, so it’s not going to be easy. They should have won at the Scarlets last week and were desperately unlucky, so we realise the size of the challenge they’ll pose. The boys coming back from Wales will give us a welcome boost but the reality is that it’s a still a young group going into battle again who will need the full support of the crowd on Friday to really lift them and get behind them.

“There are eight games left and each of them is massive for us in terms of how the season shapes up. Nothing will be won or lost this week, but we know that if we want to climb the table then we have to take points off the teams above us in the table, just as we did last weekend.

“It’s a fascinating stage of the season, you look at our next four fixtures against teams above us, you see everybody beating each other, and it’s impossible to predict how the table is going to shape up. We’ll just focus on what we can do, which is look after our performance week in, week out, and we’ll keep giving everything to achieve our goals.” 

The Ospreys team to play Edinburgh at the Liberty Stadium on Friday 19th February 2016, KO 7.05pm, is as follows:

15 Dan Evans

14 Jeff Hassler

13 JJ Engelbrecht

12 Owen Watkin

11 Ben John

10 Sam Davies 

9 Brendon Leonard (Capt)

1 Nicky Smith 

2 Sam Parry

3 Ma’afu Fia

4 James King

5 Rory Thornton

6 Dan Lydiate 

7 Sam Underhill 

8 Dan Baker

REPLACEMENTS

16 Scott Otten

17 Gareth Thomas

18 Aaron Jarvis

19 Rynier Bernardo

20 Olly Cracknell

21 Tom Habberfield

22 Josh Matavesi

23 Eli Walker

Ma’afu Fia makes his first Ospreys start

The following players were unavailable for selection due to injury:

Dmitri Arhip – Back

Tyler Ardron – Knee

Lloyd Ashley – Knee

Ashley Beck – Knee

Ryan Bevington – Hip

Gareth Delve – Ankle

Hanno Dirksen – Ankle

Dafydd Howells – Hamstring

Paul James – Tight hamstring

Rhys Webb – Concussion

The following players are absent on international duty:

Scott Baldwin, Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and Dan Biggar

%d bloggers like this: