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Preview: Ospreys v Edinburgh

09th September 2011 12:46

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Rhys Webb

Webb: Firecracker at number nine

Ospreys have named an unchanged side for their RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Edinburgh on Saturday.

Having claimed a highly impressive 27-3 victory over European champions Leinster last weekend, it comes as no surprise that Sean Holley as kept faith with a winning combination.

"We're going into this game suitably buoyed after last week's performance, both in attack and defence. It was a good start, but we are looking at is just that, only a start. We want to build some momentum and having our second home game affords us that chance," said Holley.

"However, we've had a good look at the opposition and we are in no doubt about the challenge we'll face on Saturday night. We can't take last week's results at face value. There's a lot for us to work on, while Edinburgh also did a lot of good things in their game and will be a genuine tough nut to crack. We are well aware of what's coming to the Liberty this weekend, but we have some confidence in the camp and we have a group of players ready to push on for the Ospreys cause.

"We've got a couple of players returning to fitness which gives us more strength in depth while the World Cup is on, and it also gives an incentive to those players who are holding the jersey to work hard so that they can keep hold of it. We are under no illusions of the task in front of us though, rest assured we'll be taking nothing for granted on Saturday. Everyone involved will be working hard and focusing on what they need to do so that we can continue our good start to the season."

Craig Cross (knee), Tom Prydie (ACL), Gareth Owen (ACL), Nikki Walker (medial ligament), Ross Jones (ankle) and Joe Bearman (minor abdominal strain) remain sidelined by injury.

Full-back Tom Brown and centre James King have returned to the Edinburgh back-line in two of the four changes to the squad that lost to Cardiff last weekend. King returns to the fold having missed the club's season opener with a dead leg.

Their reintroduction sees Simon Webster return to his favoured wing position and Matt Scott switch centre spots to accommodate King. Gregor Hunter starts at stand-off in place of the injured Phil Godman.

Head coach Michael Bradley has made just one change to the pack, bringing in Argentine internationalist Esteban Lozada for Steven Turnbull at lock, while on-loan prop Shaun Knight is selected to start on the bench.

"As a team we have acknowledged that our performance over the 80 minutes against Cardiff was not good enough but we created four or five gilt-edged chances and, if we had put some of those away, we could have put Cardiff under a lot more pressure.

"Ospreys are coming off a very good win over a strong Leinster side so they'll be very confident," said Bradley.

"They are a side that like to play the ball and keep the pace of the game up, which we need to counter, but that suits us as well.

"We will go toe to toe with any side that wants to play that type of game so hopefully it will make for a good, exciting game and potentially a win away from home for Edinburgh Rugby."

Form: The last four clashes between the two sides have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst Edinburgh have a won 2, lost 4 record in previous visits to Liberty Stadium. Ospreys beat Leinster 27-3 at Liberty Stadium in round one of the RaboDirect PRO12, and have lost just one game at the venue in their last 13 matches in all competitions. Ospreys have not lost at home to a Scottish team since Edinburgh were the visitors on 25 April 2009. Edinburgh Rugby tripped up at home to Cardiff Blues last Friday and have now lost back to back matches in the tournament. Edinburgh's only away victory since December 2009 was 10-9 in Aironi on 2 October 2010. The Scotsmen have lost on their last six visits to Wales in all competitions.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Hanno Dirksen, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Justin Tipuric (Capt), 6 Tom Smith, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Ian Goughm 3 Cai Griffiths, 2 Mefin Davies, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Aaron Jarvis, 18 Joe Rees, 19 James Goode, 20 James King, 21 Tom Isaacs, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Sonny Parker.

Edinburgh: 15 Tom Brown, 14 Simon Webster, 13 Matt Scott, 12 James King, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Gregor Hunter, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 David Denton, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Sean Cox, 5 Esteban Lozada, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Lewis Niven, 2 Steven Lawrie, 1 Kyle Traynor.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Steven Turnbull, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Jim Thompson, 23 Lee Jones.

Date: Saturday, September 10
Kick-off: 18:30 BST (15:30 GMT)
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: James Jones, Ian Davies (both WRU)
TMO: Tony Rowlands (WRU)

  • Edinburgh Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
Saturday , May 3
Edinburgh vs Munster17:00
Saturday , May 10
Leinster vs Edinburgh18:30
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
  • Edinburgh Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 19
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Friday , April 11
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Thursday , April 3
Newport Gwent D'gons 19 - 23 Edinburgh
Saturday , March 29
Benetton Treviso 20 - 16 Edinburgh
Friday , March 21
Edinburgh 3 - 9 Ulster
Friday , February 28
Edinburgh 31 - 25 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
  • Table
Pool 6
Heineken Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster623
2Gloucester614
3Edinburgh612
4Perpignan67