Ospreys team to play Connacht

Guinness PRO12 Editor
26 February 2016

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The Ospreys team to play Connacht at the Sportsground on Saturday 27th February 2016, KO 7.35pm, is as follows:

15 Dan Evans
14 Jeff Hassler
13 JJ Engelbrecht
12 Josh Matavesi
11 Ben John
10 Sam Davies
9 Rhys Webb
1 Paul James (Capt)
2 Sam Parry
3 Dmitri Arhip
4 James King
5 Rory Thornton
6 Joe Bearman
7 Olly Cracknell
8 Dan Baker
16 Scott Otten
17 Gareth Thomas
18 Aaron Jarvis
19 Rynier Bernardo
20 Jordan Collier
21 Brendon Leonard
22 Owen Watkin
23 Eli Walker
Dan Evans makes his 50th Ospreys appearance
The following players were unavailable for selection due to injury:
Tyler Ardron – Knee
Lloyd Ashley – Knee
Ashley Beck – Knee
Ryan Bevington – Hip
Gareth Delve – Ankle
Hanno Dirksen – Ankle
Tom Habberfield – Illness
Dafydd Howells – Hamstring
Sam Underhill – Neck
The following players are absent on international duty:
Scott Baldwin, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Dan Biggar
Ospreys Head Coach, Steve Tandy, said:

"Last week’s win over Edinburgh means that we are still well in contention for a Champions Cup spot, but we realise that it was just one battle won and there are seven more to go. With the next three games all against teams above us in the league, we know that it’s a great opportunity for us to keep climbing the table if we can hit the required performance levels consistently.

"There aren’t many tougher places to go in European rugby this season than Connacht, they are at the top of the PRO12 for a reason and, rightly so, their confidence will be sky high at the moment. It’s a different kind of challenge to the one we faced last week when we played an Edinburgh team whose success has been built on having one of the tightest defences in the league. Connacht play an attacking brand of rugby and that’s reflected in them being the top try scorers and points scorers in the PRO12.

"The increased investment they’ve had from their union and strong overseas recruitment has allowed them to build a squad that can compete all year round, particularly during international windows, and they’ve thrived this season. It’s going to be a tough evening but we know what we’ve got to do and what we want from the game.
“This is a crucial period for us, with Leinster away next week and then the Scarlets home. It’s exciting and it’s what you want to be involved in, games against the best opposition that really matter. This young group have shown a great attitude and they are thriving on the challenge, there’s a real energy and positive vibe in the squad and they are really up for it. We need to channel that excitement in the right way, make sure that we have the correct focus and attention to detail, and make sure they have a clinical, ruthless attitude. Do that, and we’ll be going into these big games with the right attitude."
Forthcoming Fixtures
Sat 5 Mar – 3.00pm KO – Leinster v Ospreys – PRO12
Sat 26 Mar – 3.00pm KO – Ospreys v Scarlets – PRO12
Fri 1 Apr – 7.05pm KO – NG Dragons v Ospreys – PRO12

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