Ospreys v Gloucester: LV= Cup match preview
Last Updated: 09/11/12 7:11pm
Ospreys and Gloucester will both ring the changes ahead of their LV= Cup meeting at the Liberty Stadium on Friday night.
The Ospreys are currently fifth in the RaboDirect PRO12 table while Gloucester are fourth in the Aviva Premiership after losing away to Harlequins last time out.
Marc Thomas and Will Price will make their first Ospreys starts.
Scott Otten, Nicky Smith, Nicky Thomas, Rhodri Hughes, Arthur Ellis, Sam Davies and Nathan Edwards will all make their Ospreys debuts if they appear off the bench.
Gloucester will field an inexperienced team. In the backs, the likes of Martyn Thomas, Shane Monahan, Tim Molenaar, Tim Taylor and Dan Robson have first-team experience while there is a debut for centre Drew Locke.
In the pack the experience of Tommaso d'Apice, Dario Chistolini, Matt Cox and skipper Peter Buxton is backed up by a number of promising young forwards, including current England U20 squad members Elliott Stooke and Ross Moriarty.
Ospreys: Ross Jones, Tom Grabham, Ben John, Jonathan Spratt, Will Price, Matthew Morgan, Rhys Webb, Marc Thomas, Matthew Dwyer, Joe Rees, Lloyd Peers, James King, George Stowers, Sam Lewis (cpt), Morgan Allen.
Replacements: Scott Otten, Nicky Smith, Nicky Thomas, Rhodri Hughes, Arthur Ellis, Tom Habberfield, Sam Davies, Nathan Edwards
Gloucester: Martyn Thomas; Shane Monahan, Drew Locke, Tim Molenaar, Ian Clark; Tim Taylor, Dan Robson; Yann Thomas, Tommaso d'Apice, Dario Chistolini; Elliott Stooke, Will Graulich; Ross Moriarty, Matt Cox, Peter Buxton (cpt).
Replacements: Koree Britton, Dan Murphy, Tom Heard, Ed King, Ben Sparks, Dave Lewis, Billy Burns, Steph Reynolds
What they said...
Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy
"This is a really positive time for everybody here. We have young players coming in to the group who really want to take their opportunity to show what they can do and it brings a real freshness around the place that excites everyone including us coaches.
"We've really seen the benefits of the LV= Cup as a development competition over the last couple of seasons, with lots of players being introduced to the team in the LV and going on to establish themselves not just with the Ospreys but for people like Tipuric, Beck and Bevington, with Wales as well. It's a fantastic opportunity while the internationals are away now for the next group of boys to step up and I personally am really looking forward to it.
"Gloucester are maybe more unfamiliar opposition for us, coming from the Premiership, but they are a good team and are well coached by someone we know very well in Nigel Davies. Whatever the team selection, he will have them organised, tough to beat and solid up front as you expect with English clubs, with a bit of flair, and no doubt coming back to this part of the world he'll be desperate for the win.
"It's going to be a really good test for this young group, not just in terms of stepping up a level to play, but also, coming to the Liberty in front of a bigger crowd. We want to see how they respond to the different pressures, and I'm sure our supporters are keen to maybe get a first look at some players who will go on and become familiar to them as key Ospreys in coming seasons."
Gloucester forwards coach Carl Hogg
"The LV= Cup has traditionally been an avenue for us to blood young players and that's exactly what we're doing on Friday night.
"It's a great opportunity for us to have a look at everybody. A lot of the guys have contributed in a big way to our success so far in the Aviva Premiership.
"They've been fully committed and now they have the chance to put their hands up and put themselves forward for selection.
"It's a difficult away match to start but this group is similar to the one that went to Mont de Marsan and performed well in difficult conditions. It'll be a similar challenge, the Ospreys are very physical but we've every faith in this group."