Gavin Henson will start at full-back for the Ospreys.
The Ospreys will be seeking to carry their Heineken Cup form into tomorrow's Magners League clash against Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade.
Sean Holley's side are on top of Pool 3 at the conclusion of four rounds in the European Cup and have looked a class outfit but the first of the Welsh derbies taking place over the festive period is an intriguing prospect as the Dragons have improved considerably over recent weeks, even if results don't reflect their efforts.
The Ospreys have rested Shane Williams, Lee Byrne, James Hook and Alun-wyn Jones for the contest but Holley is confident the players coming in will do justice to the cause.
"Everybody within the camp is looking forward to the start of the traditional Christmas derbies. It's always an exciting time, for players, coaches and supporters alike, when traditional rivalries are played out in front of big crowds, with a great atmosphere and local pride at stake. We don't expect the next few weeks to be any different, starting at Rodney Parade.
"We've taken the decision to rest a few of our international players for this week. Players like Shane Williams, Lee Byrne, James Hook and Alun-wyn Jones have had a lot of rugby recently, and will do so over the coming months, but we felt that the time was appropriate to allow them some time off. All season long we've looked to rotate players, to ensure that they remain fresh and to help develop the depth of the squad and this is just an extension of that policy.
"We are able to do this because of the faith that we have in the squad as a whole, and in fact, the form of some of the young players warrants selection in itself. The likes of Tom Smith, Dan Biggar, Kristian Phillips and Ed Shervington epitomise this, and in Marc Breeze and Ashley Beck we have two of the most consistent players in the Welsh Premiership this season. We also have the likes of Ryan Jones, Gavin Henson and Mike Phillips available again which has increased our options so we're confident that our 22 will deliver the performance we want."
Following tomorrow night's clash, the Ospreys then face another Welsh derby on Saturday December 27 when they host arch rivals Scarlets before taking on Cardiff Blues on New Year's Eve.
Ospreys: 15 Gavin Henson 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Sonny Parker 12 Andrew Bishop 11 Jonny Vaughton 10 Dan Biggar 9 Rhodri Wells; 8 Ryan Jones (capt), 7 Marty Holah 6 Tom Smith 5 Jonathan Thomas 4 Ian Gough 3 Cai Griffiths 2 Ed Shervington 1 Paul James
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze 17 Adam Jones 18 Filo Tiatia 19 Steve Tandy 20 Mike Phillips 21 Ashley Beck 22 Kristian Phillips
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
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