The Ospreys will ask the services of 15 of their Welsh representatives to secure a place in next season’s European Champions Cup.
The Bulls will be welcoming the Swansea.com stadium late Friday night (beginning at 8:10 p.m.) knowing that they will win the Welsh Shield by winning the bonus point and will have dinner at the top European rugby table next season.
Toby Booth’s party is locked in a dispute with the Scarlets, who will face the Stormers on Saturday night to be the best Welsh area this season. The Ospreys only have to call their opponents and advance to the Champions Cup, winning more matches this season than the Llanelli-based region.
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Given the importance of the match, it’s no surprise to see the Ospreys riot with all their weapons, with George North, Owen Watkin, Gareth Anscombe and Rhys Webb forming a nationwide three-quarter series. Keelan Giles, who was in great shape, is joined in the back trio by fast Luk Morgan and experienced extreme defender Michael Collins.
There are also top five from Wales, followed by Gareth Thomas, Dewi Lake and Thomas Francis are Adam Beard and Alun Wyn Jones. Jac Morgan will have to prove that he was dropped from Wayne Pivac’s tour of South Africa this summer, with Will Griffiths and Morgan Morris accompanying him in the back row.
Booth also has a lot of firepower on the bench, with internationals Sam Parry, Nicky Smith, Bradley Davies, Dan Lydiate and Stephen Myler waiting on the wings.
Looking at the match, Chief Ospreys said, “The bulls are very physical, very strong in front, very colliding and position-based in the field. They have a good kicking game and if you leave their back three, they have it according to their conditions.” will hurt you in a broken field.
“We’ve seen it against the Stormers from our own personal experience, so we expect the same.
“The good thing for us is that we are at home, with a crowd of people, we did not have to travel and in this respect it is up to us.
“It will be a massive armwrestling and a huge challenge, but we are really looking forward to it.”
Osprey : Michael Collins, Luke Morgan, George North, Owen Watkin, Keelan Giles, Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Webb (CAPT), Gareth Thomas, Dewi Lake, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Will Griffiths, Jac Morgan, Morgan Morris.
Refunds : Sam Parry, Nicky Smith, Tom Botha, Bradley Davies, Dan Lydiate, Harri Morgan, Stephen Myler, Mat Protheroe.
Vodacom Bulls : Canan Moodie, David Kriel, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Chris Smith, Zak Burger; Gerhard Steenekamp, Johan Grobbelaar, Mornay Smith, Walt Steenkamp, Ruan Nortje, Marcell Coetzee (CAPT), Cyle Brink, Elrigh Louw.
Refunds : Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Simphiwe Matanzima, Robert Hunt, Janko Swanepoel, Arno Botha; Embrose Papier, Juan Mostert, Stedman Gans.