Preview: Ospreys v Glasgow

Date published: November 28 2013

The Ospreys have handed fly-half Sam Davies a first Pro12 start for their clash with Glasgow Warriors at the Liberty Stadium on Friday.

The Ospreys have handed fly-half Sam Davies his first RaboDirect PRO12 start for their meeting with Glasgow Warriors at Liberty Stadium on Friday.

Davies starts ahead of Matthew Morgan and is alongside Tito Tebaldi in the half-backs, with Ben John and Tom Isaacs in the Ospreys midfield.

Loosehead prop Duncan Jones captains the side, which is missing plenty of internationals who are set to take on Australia on Saturday.

“Glasgow have been probably the most improved team in the league over the last few seasons and are competing consistently at the top end of the PRO12 and in Europe,” said head coach Steve Tandy about the Warriors.

“With good support from their union they've been able to put together a strong squad combining Scottish talent and good overseas players, which is proving a successful mix for them.

“They'll be strengthened this weekend by the return of their internationals and will no doubt want to keep their good run against us going which will enable them to leapfrog us in the table, so we are going to have to continue the improvements we've seen over the last couple of weeks and compete right across the field.

“We are in second place in the PRO12 and after this game, the next league fixtures will be the Christmas derbies when anything can happen, so it's important we keep building momentum, in the league and for the Heineken double-header against Castres.”

Meanwhile, Glasgow boss Gregor Townsend has recalled seven Scotland internationals to his starting line-up for the Liberty Stadium clash.

Tommy Seymour, Sean Lamont, Ruaridh Jackson, Chris Cusiter, Ryan Grant, Pat MacArthur and Jonny Gray have all been included, as the Warriors look to bounce back from last weekend's defeat to the Dragons.

Stuart Hogg continues at full-back, with DTH van der Merwe moving from centre to the wing and Seymour coming in on the opposite flank.

Mark Bennett partners Lamont at centre, while Jackson and Cusiter will form the half-back pairing.

In the pack Grant and MacArthur return from Scotland duty and start in the front row alongside Ed Kalman.

After winning his first two caps for Scotland, Jonny Gray partners captain Al Kellock in the engine room.

Tyrone Holmes and Josh Strauss come into the back-row, with Rob Harley keeping his place on the blindside flank.

After spending five-months on the sidelines with a shoulder injury the Warriors welcome back Ryan Wilson and he will be on the bench tomorrow night, along with Dougie Hall, Gordon Reid, Jon Welsh, Tom Ryder, James Eddie, Henry Pyrgos and Finn Russell.

“I'm delighted to welcome seven of the players who were missing last weekend back into the fold, as well as Ryan Wilson who has been missing for a number of months through injury,” said Townsend.

“The Ospreys are a tough team to break down in defence and have scored the most tries in the league this year, so it will be another big challenge for us.

“They will be formidable opponents at the Liberty Stadium, so we will need to bring a huge amount of effort and togetherness as well as quality and composure to come home with a win.”

Form: Ospreys reside in second place in the RaboDirect PRO12 table despite having lost two of their last four matches, to Ulster and Munster. The Welshmen's solo defeat in their last 13 PRO12 encounters at Liberty Stadium was 12-18 to Ulster on 4th October. Glasgow Warriors topped the PRO12 standings at the end of round 5 but two defeats in their last three fixtures has seen them drop to fourth spot. The Warriors only defeat away from home in any tournament this season was at Toulon in the European Cup. Glasgow have been victorious ion five of their last six visits to Wales since January 2012. Glasgow have won their last four matches against Ospreys and have not lost at Liberty Stadium since 5th March 2011.

The teams:

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Ben John, 11 Jeff Hassler, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Morgan Allen, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Tyler Ardron, 5 James King, 4 Lloyd Peers, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Duncan Jones (capt).
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Dan Suter, 19 Graham Knoop, 20 Arthur Ellis, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Aisea Natoga.

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Sean Lamont, 11 DTH Van der Merwe, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Al Kellock (capt), 4 Jonny Gray, 3 Ed Kalman, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 James Eddie, 21 Ryan Wilson, 22 Henry Pyrgos, 23 Finn Russell.

Date: Friday, November 29
Kick-off: 19:05 GMT
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Neil Hennessy (Wales), Sean Brickell (Wales)
Television match official: Derek Bevan (Wales)