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Ospreys Looking Up

18th April 2008 By Munster Rugby

Ospreys Looking Up

Although there will be no Gavin Henson or Mike Phillips, some of the biggest stars of the Welsh Grand Slam winning side will be in Cork tomorrow for the Magners League clash with Munster.

They will include, Lee Byrne, Sonny Parker, Shane Williams, James Hook, Huw Bennett, Ian Gough and Jonathan Thomas who will be joined by former All Black greats Marty Holah and Justin Marshall.

And even though, like Munster, hopes ot the title are long gone, the Ospreys are not coming over to simply make up the numbers as their coach Lyn Jones sets out their stall “With five games remaining of the season, we are not looking down the table, we are concentrating on the teams currently above us. We are seven points behind the Scarlets and 12 points behind the Blues, but we have two games in hand on both of them, and we are still targeting finishing above both of those sides to finish the highest of the Welsh regions.

“It will be a tough ask, and the games will come thick and fast over the final weeks of the season, but we will be taking inspiration from our form at the end of last season, when we came back to the Magners League after the EDF Energy Cup Final and put together a good run of results in tough circumstances to rise up the table and take the title.

“Even though we have to concede that the title is out of reach for us this year, I’ll be looking to the players to keep their focus for the next 4/5 weeks as we utilise the whole squad as best as possible as we look to achieve our aim. If we are able to finish as the highest placed Welsh side then I think it would be quite an achievement given the disruption our campaign has had due to international call-ups and long term injuries from last season, with us only able to select from a full squad on four occasions in our 13 Magners League fixtures to date

“Munster may have one eye on their Heineken Cup semi-final next weekend, but it is fair to say that there is never an easy game against Munster as everyone who pulls on the red shirt understands their responsibility. It looks like being a tight affair, something of a battle between the two sides who consistently have the best defences so we know that we will have to be on top of our game.”

Ospreys: Lee Byrne; Johnny Vaughton, Sonny Parker, Andrew Bishop,Shane Williams; James Hook, Justin Marshall;  Filo Tiatia (Capt),  Marty Holah,  Jonathan Thomas; Ian Evans, Ian Gough; Cai Griffiths, Huw Bennett, Duncan Jones.
Replacements:  Ed Shervington, Andrew Millward, Lyndon Bateman, Ben Lewis, Gareth Owen, Jonathan Spratt,  Aled Brew



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