Barry Davies and Jerry Collins make their competitive debuts for the Ospreys after signing for the region this summer in their Magners League opener against Connacht. (Friday19:00)
Ospreys Head Coach Sean Holley commented:"After the hard work of pre-season, and some good performances and results in our two fixtures against Guinness Premiership opposition, everybody at the Ospreys is looking forward to starting the real business of the Magners League this Friday. We realise that we aren't the finished article at this moment and that we need to keep working and improving week-on-week, but spirits are good in the camp after a good pre-season and we are raring to go.
"Our first opponents Connacht are really tough customers, and will provide a real test for us. They've certainly improved their style of play in the last year or two. Michael Bradley has had them for a long time now and he's moved his squad in a slightly different direction.
"The Sports Ground isn't an easy place to play, but having said that, when you look down our squad sheet for the weekend, we're in good shape. We've got a squad that is pretty healthy compared to last season, with some additions. We've had a great pre-season, I'd go as far as to say the best in the seven years that I've been at the Ospreys now, it's been hard work and it's been enjoyable. There's an air of determination around, so we've got to be confident going there.
"Mike and James are the first Lions players to return to action. Mike only played half a season last year, and James didn't play as much rugby as some of the others in the Six Nations and Lions tour. We've looked at it, and felt that those two, of the Lions, along with Ryan, are ready to get into the fray. How long they will both play is yet to be seen, but we wanted to get them integrated as soon as possible, at the appropriate time, as will be the case with our other Lions."
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