The Ospreys will field 13 internationals for their opening home game in the Magners League when they host Cardiff Blues at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday night (kick-off 7.35pm),
The EDF Energy Cup holders welcome back Shane Williams, Duncan Jones, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Filo Tiatia and Steve Tandy into their starting line-up from the side that beat Connacht 16-3 in Galway last weekend.
The only non-internationals in the starting line-up are back row man Tandy and scrum half Rhodri Wells, while coach Sean Holley will have three more capped players among his replacement sand well as new signing Jamie Nutbrown.
Ex-Waikato Chiefs and New Zealand A scrum half Nutbrown arrived in the UK on Sunday and met up with his new team mates for the first time on Monday.
Tiatia will make his 50th appearance for the Ospreys against the Blues, while prop Paul James will be hoping to become the third Osprey to play a century of games by getting some action off the bench.
"Tuesday night's game promises to be an exciting and physical encounter between two evenly matched teams. We got our season off to a great start in Connacht and we will be looking to build on that against the Blues," said Holley.
"They played very well themselves on Saturday evening and deserved to beat the reigning champions. Derby fixtures are always interesting, and this will be no different.
"With so much at stake this season at domestic and international level, I'm sure there will be some interesting battles to look for right across the pitch. It's always difficult to find the right balance when you have three games in a week but we've selected a strong squad for this fixture.
"There is huge competition for places in our squad and every player knows that when they get the call they have to make an impression. For this game, Steve Tandy and Rhodri Wells have been given the chance to impress, and they, along with the rest of the 22, understand that they need to maintain the standards achieved out in Galway.
"If we are to achieve a consistent, winning culture, then we are well aware that we must perform well in front of our own fans and make it difficult for teams when they come here.
"The Blues will present a particularly difficult challenge with quality players throughout their team and they will be keen to make-up for the 22-3 defeat here last season. I have no doubt that it will be a great game with an atmosphere to match."
Ospreys: Lee Byrne; Tommy Bowe, Sonny Parker, Andrew Bishop, Shane Williams;
James Hook, Rhodri Wells; Duncan Jones, Huw Bennett, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Filo Tiatia,Steve Tandy, Ryan Jones (C)
Replacements: Ed Shervington, Paul James, Ian Gough, Tom Smith, Jamie Nutbrown,
Gareth Owen, Nikki Walker
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