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Ospreys team to play Zebre

The Ospreys team to play Zebre at Stadio XXV Aprile on Thursday 1st May 2014, KO 5.00pm (UK time), is as follows:

 

15 Sam Davies

14 Hanno Dirksen

13 Ashley Beck

12 Andrew Bishop

11 Aisea Natoga

10 Dan Biggar

9 Tom Habberfield

 

1 Nicky Smith

2 Scott Baldwin

3 Aaron Jarvis

4 Ian Evans

5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt)

6 James King

7 Justin Tipuric

8 Dan Baker

 

 

REPLACEMENTS

 

16 Scott Otten

17 Marc Thomas

18 Adam Jones

19 Ryan Jones

20 Joe Bearman

21 Sam Lewis

22 Tito Tebaldi

23 Jeff Hassler

 

Nicky Smith makes his first PRO12 start

Ryan Jones will make his 150th Ospreys appearance if he comes off the bench

 

Head Coach Steve Tandy said:

 

“This is a crucial game for us. If we want to extend our season beyond next weekend we know that we have to go to Parma and win, there are no ifs or buts about it. We’ve had a good week preparing for it, there is a positive mood in the group and everybody knows what’s at stake over the next ten days.

 

“Our fate isn’t in our own hands, but we have to concentrate on doing what we need to do first and foremost, to ensure that if results elsewhere go our way we are able to take advantage. That didn’t happen last season, where it turned out that just one win in the final two games would have been enough to take us through in the end. We have to make sure that isn’t the case this season.

 

“It’s a big challenge for this group, there’s no doubt about it. It’s a very young starting team, with an average age of just 24, but there is plenty of experience there to provide the on-field guidance that we’ll need at key moments. When you look at the youth in the team it is genuinely exciting to think about the potential this group of players has for the coming years, if they continue to work hard on and off the field. This region has a very bright future, I’m absolutely sure about that, but we can’t look too far ahead. The focus has to be entirely on the job in hand. That is, to put in a very professional performance against Zebre where everybody is fully prepared, knows their roles, and are clinical in everything they do.

 

“We want to make sure we go into the final game, against Connacht at the Liberty, with everything still to play for. It’ll be great to end the regular season at home in such a big game, but we know that if we let ourselves down on Thursday night that won’t be the case, so we know what we have to do.”

 

The following players were unavailable for selection through injury:

 

Dmitri Arhip – Achilles

Ryan Bevington - Groin

Richard Hibbard - Shoulder

Tom Isaacs – Ankle

Ben John - Shoulder

Duncan Jones - Shoulder

Lloyd Peers - Shoulder

Tom Smith - Knee

Eli Walker - Hamstring

Rhys Webb - Knee

Sam Williams - Shoulder

 

Forthcoming Fixtures

 

Sat 10 May - 6.30pm KO Ospreys v Connacht - PRO12

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