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Ospreys team to play Connacht

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor

6 Jan 2017

Hanno Dirksen

The Ospreys welcome Connacht to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon (Kick off 1:30pm). The game will be shown live on Sky Sports.

The Ospreys team to play Connacht at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday 7th January 2017, KO 1.30pm, is as follows:

15 Dan Evans
14 Dafydd Howells
13 Ashley Beck
12 Josh Matavesi
11 Hanno Dirksen
10 Sam Davies
9 Tom Habberfield

1 Nicky Smith
2 Sam Parry
3 Ma’afu Fia
4 Lloyd Ashley
5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt)
6 Olly Cracknell
7 Justin Tipuric
8 Dan Baker

16 Scott Baldwin
17 Paul James
18 Rhodri Jones
19 Adam Beard
20 Sam Underhill
21 Brendon Leonard
22 Dan Biggar
23 Kieron Fonotia

Hanno Dirksen makes his 100th Ospreys appearance

The following players were unavailable for selection due to injury:

Tyler Ardron – Thumb
Dmitri Arhip – Shoulder
Bradley Davies – Knee
Keelan Giles – Shoulder
Tom Grabham – Knee
Hugh Gustafson – Ankle/knee ligaments
Jeff Hassler – Achilles
Ben John – Groin
Dan Lydiate – Knee
Rory Thornton – Ankle
Eli Walker – Back
Owen Watkin – Knee
Rhys Webb – Ankle

Head Coach, Steve Tandy, commented:

“We looked at this run of three PRO12 games as an important block of fixtures and with two wins in the first two of them, we’ve got to be happy with where are going into this weekend.

“It wasn’t necessarily pretty at times over Christmas but we were professional in everything we did and, particularly at the Dragons, played the conditions extremely well. It was good to show that we can win ugly as well as going out there and moving the ball around as we have done at times this season.

“It’ll be another tough one on Saturday. Connacht are always combative up front and they play a good brand of rugby, they are very dangerous opposition. We know that we are in for another test so have to prepare thoroughly for this one, and will have to step up a level or two again.

“We had great support against the Scarlets, the boys really appreciated playing in front of such a big crowd at home. If we keep working hard and continue what we’ve been doing this season, hopefully we can get the backing from our supporters that we want, playing their part.

“The PRO12 breaks for a month after this weekend so it’s important we make a statement, keep the momentum going, and ensure we are in a good place. When you look at the run-in, after last season’s champions at home this weekend, we’ve got some big games coming up at the Liberty so we know there’s a huge amount of work to be done, but we are in a good place and are up for the challenge. The focus has to be on Saturday afternoon, first and foremost, and then we’ll look ahead, one game at a time.”
Forthcoming Fixtures

Sun 15 Jan – 3.00pm – Ospreys v Lyon – Liberty Stadium – ERCC
Sat 21 Jan – 5.00pm – Newcastle Falcons v Ospreys – Kingston Park – ERCC
Sat 28 Jan – 3.00pm – Ospreys v Bristol – Bridgend Ford Brewery Field – AW Cup
Sun 5 Feb – 3.00pm – Wasps v Ospreys – Ricoh Arena – AW Cup