Ospreys v Worcester: Teams
At Liberty Stadium, Sunday October 26, kick-off 3.05pm
Last Updated: 24/10/08 2:13pm
Henson: Back from suspension
Gavin Henson will start for the Ospreys on Sunday as they welcome Worcester to the Liberty Stadium in the EDF Energy Cup.
Having returned from injury Henson was handed a two-game ban for an internal issue at the region. However he has served that ban and comes straight back into the side at inside centre, to partner Tommy Bowe in midfield.
James Hook, who missed last week's win over Perpignan, returns to partner Rhys Webb at half-back, whilst in the forwards Steve Tandy and Tom Smith both get a start in the back-row.
"We've selected a very experienced side, with 16 of the 22 having more than 50 Ospreys appearances to their name," coach Sean Holley said.
"We will need all of that experience for this challenge, but we are all looking forward to it immensely and hope that we'll have a big crowd behind as we look to build on last week.
"Our results have been good of late, but we feel that we can still improve in lots of aspects of our game. The players have been extremely diligent and focused this week and want to take a step closer to retaining this trophy."
For Worcester fly-half Matthew Jones will make a return to his former club having been named to start in the number ten jersey.
Jones has recovered from an ankle injury and will line up against his old side as Warriors look to make it two wins out of two in the cup competition.
Warriors, who will be captained by Greg Rawlinson, make three changes to the starting line-up to the side that defeated Bucuresti Oaks in Europe, with Chris Pennell returning on the wing in place of Miles Benjamin who is ruled out with a shoulder injury.
Full-back Chris Latham returns after being rested for the trip to Romania and is named vice-captain, whilst Jake Abbott comes into the back row with Tom Wood injured.
Head coach Clive Griffiths is eager for Warriors to perform in Wales and has backed Jones to make a successful return to his former club.
"Matthew is looking forward to going back as he had some good days with Neath and the Ospreys, he will have a point to prove," he said.
"Apart from Wasps away, this is the biggest test for Matthew. He has come in having played National One and it is a massive step up. People think it is just a small transition but it is a huge step up.
"Now he is getting more confident and getting to know the guys better. Matt is grabbing the chance with his own unique style and he commands the respect of the forwards.
"It is a big game for Matthew and he will need to keep a lid on it, his emotions will be running high. The game is all about emotion and if you let them get the better of you then it falls apart. But he knows what he has to do."
Ospreys: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Tommy Bowe, 12 Gavin Henson, 11 Shane Williams, 10 James Hook, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Filo Tiatia, 7 Steve Tandy, 6 Tom Smith, 5 Lyndon Bateman, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Andrew Millward, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Duncan Jones (c).
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Adam Jones, 18 Alun-wyn Jones, 19 Ryan Jones, 20 Jamie Nutbrown, 21 Dan Biggar, 22 Andrew Bishop.
Worcester: 15 Chris Latham, 14 Rico Gear, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Chris Pennell, 10 Matthew Jones, 9 Ryan Powell, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Matt Cox, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Greg Rawlinson (c), 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Darren Morris, 17 Shaun Ruwers, 18 Graham Kitchener, 19 Rob Wood, 20 Matt Powell, 21 Loki Crichton, 22 Charlie Fellows.